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Consumers worried about shifting of Golen water supply line

Gul Hamaad Farooqi

CHITRAL: Consumers in Chitral town, Jugore and Bakrabad have expressed concerns about delay in the shifting of the drinking water supply line from Golen Gol to a safer side as it has been affected by the ongoing work on the widening of the Chitral-Mastuj road.  

In order to provide clean drinking water to over 50,000 consumers of Chitral town, a network was laid from a natural spring at Golen at a cost of Rs440 million  12 years ago.

At that time, the Chitral-Mastuj road was only 12 feet wide and the pipeline was laid  to Chitral town on one side of the mountain as it was considered safe then. But now, the road has been handed over  to the National Highway Authority (NHA), which is widening it to 34 feet. As a result, the pipe has come in the middle of the road and the NHA has started blacktopping  it.

According to local experts, if the contractor mettled the road and put coal-tar on it before shifting  of the pipe to a safer place, in case of leaking water from the pipe it will cause lots of damage to the road. Even if the pipeline is to be repaired, the road public health engineering staff would have to break the road.

Safeerullah Khan belongs to Golen valley and is settled in Chitral town. He said half of the population of Chitral town was using the Golen water for drinking purposes and in case the pipe was damaged during construction of the road the consumers will be without water. He suggested that first the pipe should be shifted to a safer side before staring construction of the road. And NHA contractor can work at this road where 50 KM road is empty without any pipeline in the middle of road.

Social and political personality Sharif Hussain Chairman says 12 years ago the provincial government had provided Rs440 million for the pipeline project. He said the work launched by the NHA contractor was still not completed even after two years on the widening of the 75 km road from Chitral to Booni.

Chitral town consumers worried about shifting of Golen water supply line He said the contractor was now pouring concrete on the road at Ragh where the pipeline was passing in the middle of road. He said Rs290 million fund  had been approved for shifting of the pipe to a safer place and a tender had also been floated.

Sharif Hussain said: “we have raised objections on the work of the contractor many times, but it seems he has strong connections and nobody is asking him to heed to teh public complaints.” 

Ejaz Ahmed, a an elected  councillor,  says that clean and cold water is carried  from a natural spring in Golen to Chitral town, Jughore and Bakarabad. First of all, this pipe should be removed from the middle of the road to a safer place and then work on the road should be started. He said the road from Golen towards Booni  had been widened and the cutting of the mountain was also complete. The contractor should first start work from Booni side until then the pipeline should be taken out from the middle of the road and shifted to a safer side.

Fakhr Azam, chairman of a village council, says almost half of the population of Chitral town was getting clean drinking water from the Golem Gol.  He suggested that Golen pipeline is 22 km long and Booni road is 75 km, except for this 22 km section the contractor can work beyond that portion and when the pipeline is removed from the middle of  the road within three months  the road should be constructed otherwise.

When ChitralToday contacted the Public Health Engineering Department, its spokesman said when the pipeline was being laid from Golen, the road was only 12 feet mettle d and it was brought through a safer place i.e. along the side of the mountain. Now the pipe has come in the middle of the road after its widening.

“We have floated a tender for its shifting  and Rs290 million  have been sanctioned for this purpose. We will try to remove it from the middle of the road within three months and shift it to a safer place. After that, in case of leakage the pipe will not cause any damage to the blacktopped  road. In case of any fault in the pipe, if  we need to repair it we will not have to break the road again, he added.

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