KARACHI: The Sindh government is taking steps to ensure that the people of the province stay hydrated – it has allotted Rs7 billion for the construction of 644 water plants and out of this amount, Rs2.5 billion has already been released.
A meeting was held at Chief Minister House to discuss the finalisation of the sites where the plants are to be built. The chief minister, Syed Qaim Ali Shah, said that ultra-violet filter plants will be built in villages which have at least 1,000 residents. A total of 500 reverse osmosis and ultra-violet filter plants will be built in the first phase.
The chief secretary, Raja Muhammad Abbas, highlighted the progress that has been made so far – 346 sites have already been proposed. About 25 reverse osmosis plants will be installed in every district and each one of these will cater to up to 7,000 people. The Sindh coal department has also installed 23 reverse osmosis plants in the Thar Coal area.
The finance secretary said that Rs500 million have allotted to the building of reverse osmosis plants in Lyari and Keamari.
Old settlements in Karachi to be given legal cover
The Sindh government has formed a committee to visit the old settlements in Karachi, so that they can be registered with the authorities and be given legal cover.
The committee members include all the deputy commissioners of Karachi, officials from the Sindh Board of Revenue (BoR) and the general secretary of the PPP’s Karachi division, Ismail Brohi. It has been given until Saturday, December 17, to submit a list of all the settlements.
The decision to set up the committee was taken at a meeting held at Chief Minister House, during which the process of giving leases to the residents of these settlements throughout the province was also discussed.
The CM wants the process completed within three months. A list of 56 settlements to be given legal status has already been compiled and the lease documents would be distributed.
After all of the settlements in Karachi have been regularised and leases have been issued to the residents, the same process would be carried out in Hyderabad.
There are hundreds of ancient settlements, which existed not only before the creation of Pakistan, but which go back many centuries. The previous government had demolished old villages as well as settlements and unnecessarily harassed their inhabitants. The ministers Nadeem Bhutto, Sajid Jokhio, Haji Muzaffar Shujra, the chief secretary, Raja Muhammad Abbas, and a senior member of the BoR, Shahzar Shamoon, were among those present in the meeting.
Published in The Express Tribune, December 3rd, 2011.