Revamping Quetta’s Sewerage System: A Crucial Imperative for Progress
Revamping Quetta’s Sewerage System: A Crucial Imperative for Progress
Mir Behram Baloch

Quetta, the capital of Balochistan province in Pakistan, stands as a city steeped in history, culture, and potential. However, beneath its surface lies a critical challenge that has long been ignored: its outdated and inadequate sewerage system. As the city grapples with burgeoning population growth and urbanization, the necessity for a new sewerage infrastructure has become increasingly apparent. The inadequacy of the current system has escalated into a pressing concern, presenting one of the most formidable challenges for the new government.

The existing sewerage system constructed during the British era in Quetta is a relic of the past, constructed decades ago to cater to a much smaller population and limited urban spread. As the city expanded, the system struggled to keep pace, resulting in frequent overflows, blockages, and contamination of water sources. This outdated infrastructure is not only inefficient but also poses serious health hazards to the residents of Quetta.

Population growth has exacerbated the strain on the aging sewerage network. Rapid urbanization has led to the proliferation of informal settlements, further burdening the already fragile system. With an influx of people into the city, the demand for proper sanitation facilities has surged, amplifying the urgency for a comprehensive overhaul of the sewerage infrastructure.

Moreover, Quetta’s geographical location exacerbates the problem. Situated in a region prone to seismic activity and harsh weather conditions, the existing sewerage system is vulnerable to damage and deterioration. Aging pipes and infrastructure are susceptible to corrosion and collapse, compounding the challenges faced by the city. Recent rains showed how outdated this system is with water overflowing in multiple places like Sariab Road, Satellite Town, Double Road, Udha and Brewery Road. Satellite Town especially is the worst effected area in the city being the most recent constructed population.

The consequences of neglecting Quetta’s sewerage system are dire and multifaceted. Health risks abound as sewage spills contaminate water sources, leading to outbreaks of waterborne diseases. Environmental degradation follows suit, as untreated wastewater pollutes water bodies and harms ecosystems. Additionally, the stench and unsightliness of overflowing sewage mar the city’s aesthetics and deter tourism and investment.

Addressing the deficiencies of Quetta’s sewerage system requires a multi-faceted approach that prioritizes modernization, expansion, and sustainability. The new government must allocate adequate resources and devise a comprehensive strategy to revamp the city’s infrastructure.

Investing in modern technologies and materials is paramount to ensure the longevity and efficiency of the sewerage system. Utilizing durable materials resistant to corrosion and wear can mitigate the risk of frequent breakdowns and maintenance issues. Implementation of advanced wastewater treatment plants can significantly reduce pollution and improve water quality, safeguarding public health and the environment.

Furthermore, expansion of the sewerage network to encompass underserved areas and informal settlements is imperative to address the needs of the growing population. Collaboration with relevant stakeholders, including local communities and urban planners, is essential to ensure inclusivity and sustainability in the development process. As the newly elected Chief Minister Balochistan Sarfaraz Buggti said in his speech that the beatification of Quetta City among his first tasks and we hope that unlike past Governments this will not be just another empty promise.

However, the task of revitalizing Quetta’s sewerage system is not without challenges. Financial constraints, bureaucratic hurdles, and logistical complexities may impede progress. The new government must exhibit strong political will and commitment to surmount these obstacles and prioritize the well-being of Quetta’s residents.

In conclusion, the dire state of Quetta’s sewerage system presents one of the most significant challenges for the new government. The urgency to revamp the outdated infrastructure is undeniable, given the escalating health risks, environmental degradation, and impediments to economic development. Through concerted efforts and strategic investments, Quetta can emerge with a modern, efficient, and sustainable sewerage system, laying the foundation for a brighter and healthier future for its residents. And we hope that Commissioner Quetta Hamza Shafqat will play his part in the development of Quetta as he did when he was Deputy Commissioner Islamabad.