KARACHI: Opposition lawmakers cried foul over the severe water crises in Karachi and other districts of Sindh.
The MPAs said that despite the government’s tall claims, people in various districts of the province are still traveling miles in search of potable water. “Thatta was once the capital of this province but unfortunately no one takes notice of the water crisis there,” said Pakistan Muslim League – Nawaz MPA Syed Ameer Hyder Shah while moving a call attention notice.
“[Keenjhar Lake] is located near Thatta city and the bulk of the water is being supplied to Karachi. But no concrete measures have been taken in our areas where water has now become rare commodity,” he said, adding that a scheme was also planned in the budget to provide water from Dhabeji to Thatta, Gharo and Gujjo towns but nothing has been done so far.
Muttahida Qaumi Movement’s (MQM) Sabir Qaimkhani said that the same situation persists in Hyderabad. He said that ideally, the government ideally should store at least 15 days’ worth of water to cope with crisis-like situations but all mechanisms have collapsed. “One hundred million gallons of water is required daily but the municipality only has the capacity of 60 million and releases four million gallons per day,” he said.
Kamran Akhtar of the MQM also raised the issue of the water crisis in his constituency in Karachi’s District West and said the government had promised to resolve water the crises but the concerned authorities have not lived up to their pledges.
Local Government Minister Jam Khan Shoro blamed the hours-long loadshedding at pumping stations for the situation and asked, “What can we do with around 16 to 20 hours of loadshedding?” He said that his party is on the roads against the power and energy crisis, which has made the people’s lives miserable. “I request all opposition members to help us in this cause, because the entire Sindh is suffering from water and power crisis,” he said.
Shoro was of the view that government had taken drastic measures to deal with the water situation in Karachi, Hyderabad and other districts of the province. “We have given the K-IV scheme for Karachi, which will be completed by 2018 and the government will include a mega drinking water project for Hyderabad city in the upcoming budget,” he said, adding that new water lines are also being laid down in Karachi and Hyderabad districts.
The local government minister also criticised the opposition parties and said, “Illegal hydrants have been big cause of water scarcity in Karachi and a few political parties and influential people were also running these illegal hydrants, which have not been demolished”.
Shoro said that he did not want to disclose names of the parties but he was in possession officials. “Everyone knows who was running the illegal hydrant near Garden,” said the minister, adding that there are a total seven hydrants in the city and all are legal.
“After the K-IV scheme, we will get rid of hydrants,” he announced.
The assembly was informed that around 21 health centres are closed in Sindh. This was revealed by Health Minister Dr Sikandar Mandhro during the question and answer session. He said that some of these centres are closed because the staff requirement has not been finalised while some centres are under construction.
Pakistan Muslim League – Functional MPA Mahtab Akbar Rashdi also raised the issue of the posting of headmasters and said that many candidates have passed the Institute of Business Administration test for positions and are still waiting for orders. The education minister assured the MPA that the issue would be resolved in a few days as it is currently under process.
Some members also spoke about the shortage of gunny bags and shared the plight of growers who are facing difficulties in getting government issued wheat bags also known as ‘bardana’.
Later, the speaker adjourned the session till Tuesday.