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Sindh Chief Minister says that he said direction to resolve the issue of contaminated water all over Sindh

Karachi, December 06, 2017 (PPI-OT):Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah has said that he has said a direction to resolve the issue of contaminated water all over Sindh. This he said while talking informally with media during his visit to Jahangir Park this evening. He was accompanied by Minister Local Government Jam Khan Shoro and Senator Murtaza Wahab.

The chief minister said that as a chief minister he had exemption to appear before the court but “I thought the supreme court was working hard to resolve the issue of contaminated water in Sindh and it is the issue of our people, therefore I must appear in court and I did,” he said and added that he had set a direction to resolve the issue [of contaminated water] and hoped it would be resolved in minimum time period.

Replying to a question, he said that he has identified 726 major points all over Sindh from where domestic waste and affluent is released into distributaries and canals. “We have made schemes of installing treatment plants to treat the domestic waste and affluent before releasing it into the water bodies and this would cost Rs3.586 billion,” he said and went on saying that in the first phase treatment work would be started at 221 points for Rs800 million and he has allocated Rs400 million means 50 percent of the allocation.

The chief minister said that water testing laboratories are being established in 23 districts for which he has approved an amount of Rs105 million. He added that there were 953 non-functional water supply and RO plants schemes. “I have approved an amount of Rs4.9 billion to make them functional and work on most of the schemes have been started,” he said.

Replying to a question, the chief minister said that the documentary shown in the Court room of Supreme Court on untreated effluent being released in the water bodies and canals was one sided-production. “It was an old documentary and now the situation is quite different,” he said and added he told the honourable court that a drainage scheme for Shikarpur city of Rs505 was in full swing.

The drainage system in city of shikarpur has improved considerable. Another drainage schemes of Rs1406 million was also in progress in Larkana so that untreated waste water could not be released in Rive Canal. A similar scheme was also in progress in Mirpurkhas. “We are working hard to stop release of waste water, industrial waste and effluent into canals but it would take some time to resolve the issue properly because lost funds are required for the purpose,” he said.

Replying to another question, Murad Ali Shah said that the Supreme Court has ordered him to order an inquiry against former city nazim for illegal allotment of the land belong to Treatment Plant-II (TP-II). “Just after returning from the court I have directed chief secretary to issue inquiry order,” he said.

Replying to another question, the chief minister said that the Supreme Court took up the issue of water being released downstream Kotri and said it was waste of water. He added that he told the supreme court that the release of water downstream Kotri was necessary to stop sea intrusion. The sea has already encroached upon the sweet land of Thatta and Badin. “We feel still essential water was not being released to save delta and stop sea encroachment, he said.

To a question, the chief minister said that the Supreme Court of Pakistan appreciated the services of Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto for making 1973 constitution. “I am quite satisfied and relieved that the court [Supreme Court] that had sent Shaheed Bhutto to gallows has appreciated him {Shaheed Bhutto} today for giving a best constitution to the country,” he said.

The chief minister talking about K-IV project said that the federal government had agreed to share 50 percent cost of Rs25 billion project and so far it has released only Rs3 billion. As a matter of fact, the cost of the project has gone to Rs33 billion, including Rs5 billion of land acquisition.

Murad Ali Shah said that Sindh cannot be singled out since the predicament of contaminated drinking water and insanitary system are more or less the same across Pakistan. He quoted Pakistan Social and Living Standards Measurement (PSLM) Survey of 2014-15 which shows percentage distribution of source water by house hold.

In Sindh 41 percent tap water, 33 percent hand pump, 11 percent motor pump and four percent dug well water while in Punjab 18 percent household use tap water, 28 percent hand pump, 45 percent motor pump and one percent dug well. Murad Shah said that the report shows that the condition in Sindh as not as bad as being painted. He went on saying, unfortunately Sindh is at the lower end, receiving river water contaminated with all kinds of effluent from the province of upstream. “Studies show that several industrial cities, including Faisalabad unleash untreated effluent in the River Indus,” he said.

Talking about water quality status of major cities of the country, Murad Ali Shah told the court that 69 percent people of Pakistan drink unsafe water. He quoted Pakistan Council of Research in Water Resources, Ministry of Science report which says Punjab drinks 69 percent unsafe water, KPK 47 percent, Balochistan 81 percent and Sindh 81 percent. It means it is a national issue and must be solved holistically.

The chief Minister replying to another question said that his government was committed to resolve the contaminated water issue for which work with sincerity and commitment was in progress. Later, the chief minister visited Empress Market, Bohri Bazar and other areas of Saddar and met with shopkeepers, vendors and common men and listened to their problems. He took selfies with them and had a morsel of biryani at a biryani shop.

For more information, contact:
Press Secretary,
Chief Minister House, Sindh
Tel: +92-21-99202019 (Ext: 336)
Website: www.cmsindh.gov.pk

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