WASA defaults on Rs 50 million WAPDA dues | Pakistan Today

WASA defaults on Rs 50 million WAPDA dues

GUJRANWALA – Water and Sanitation Agency (WASA) Gujranwala has become a parasite of provincial government, members of national assembly (MNAs) and members of provincial assembly (MPAs) for its survival and to pay its electricity bills and salaries of the employees.
With at least Rs four million monthly income, WASA had become a defaulter of more than Rs 50 million and it often remained under the threat of power disconnection by Gujranwala Electric Power Company while sometimes power supply restored only after the assurance of the district coordination officer (DCO) to pay the installments within timeframe.
A source in WASA said that the agency had been supplying drinking water and managing sewerage in the city which had been expanded to 63 square kilometers now by 45 tube wells and 13 disposal stations. It had some 150 daily wagers besides regular employees and had to pay Rs eight million rupees as salaries every month while three sucker machines and nine water bores, along with meager number of vehicles, also cost three to four million rupees monthly.
But the WASA could generate maximum Rs four million per month from water and sewerage bills and people in the city were not habitual of paying bills regularly. Recent attempts by the city district government (CDG) to raise the income of the WASA enhanced its income from Rs three million to Rs four million but it could not be enhanced at the level where its financial autonomy could be secured.
The WASA was working these days without proper managing director as a lower ranked officer of basic pay scale (BPS)-17 had been deployed by the virtue of political likings, on the seat designated for BPS-19 and he, himself, seemed unable to fight the case of the WASA’s financial deficit before provincial government or even Gujranwala division commissioner, due to which, WASA’s employees including its MD and other officers could not get their salaries in-time and they had to wait for grant from the government or any of the parliamentarian.
Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif first appointed former member provincial assembly (MPA) Imran Khalid Butt as chairman steering committee during his first visit to the city and later replaced him with his elder brother Salman Khalid Pomi Butt to improve the performance of WASA but it could not get any thing so far.
Gujranwala is a city with the worst ratio of patients of lethal viruses of Hepatitis and water bound diseases and two third of its population is still deprived of clean drinking water but none of the government ever tried to upgrade the WASA to tackle the challenges of this area.
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