By Blessing Odega,
Jos – The Plateau Water Board on Thursday accused contractors handling road projects in Jos of destroying major water pipes, and blamed rising water shortage in the state capital on that trend.
Mr Sunday Dung, the board’s Chairman, made the accusation in Jos, when he paid a working visit to the Ministry of Physical Planning and Urban Development.
Dung, in company of the General Manager of the Plateau State water Board, Mr Lambat Gonzuk, lamented that the destruction of the pipes had frustrated efforts toward effective water supply and also affected revenue generation.
“The situation gets worse everyday; the most unfortunate aspect of it is that the destroyed water pipes have not been replaced. That has cut off water supply to some areas and water rates are no longer given to such areas.
“Most of the major pipes situated along the road were destroyed; those not destroyed were dumped inappropriately without the contractors liaising with the water board,” he fumed.
He said that the visit was to examine areas the two outfits could collaborate toward building a synergy that would minimise such destruction so as to ensure that water supply does not suffer because roads were being constructed.
“Roads are very important, but so is water supply. We must all work together so that none suffers,” he said.
He suggested that the board should be alerted to relocate its pipes at such construction sites to protect them from destruction so that society would not suffer.
Mr Bulus Bot, Commissioner, Ministry of Physical Planning and Urban Development, assured his visitors that the ministry would collaborate with the water board to protect the water pipes.
“Prior to your visit, the ministry had already constituted an advisory committee on urban development with the state water Board as a member.
“The committee’s principal concern is to forestall incidents like this; we want all contract handlers to accommodate all the issues and avoid contradictions that could inhibit other dividends of democracy.
“Henceforth, resident engineers from the handling firms, water board and this ministry will make inputs into every road contract to forestall encumbrances,” he said.