HYDERABAD: The Supreme Court-mandated judicial commission on water and sanitation has directed the departments concerned to expedite the approval and tendering processes for water filtration, sewage treatment and drainage schemes in Hyderabad.
The commission's head, Justice (retd) Amir Hani Muslim, issued on Thursday multiple orders to the planning and development department, Water and Sanitation Agency (Wasa) and Hyderabad commissioner in this regard. The chairperson of the commission's taskforce and irrigation secretary, Jamal Mustafa Syed, was directed to coordinate with the departments to ensure the implementation of commission's orders.
Planning and Development Board Chairperson Muhammad Waseem sought at most three weeks to scrutinise the PC-I of three projects - the rehabilitation and upgrade of the filtration plant in Latifabad Unit 4, rehabilitation of water distribution in Hyderabad and rehabilitation of pre-settlement lagoons of the district's largest filtration plant on Jamshoro Road - and forward the schemes to the finance department for budgetary approval. The lagoons have a storage capacity of 400 million gallons per day (MGD).
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Justice (retd) Muslim directed Wasa Managing Director (MD) Masood Ahmed Jumani to complete the tendering processes in the interim as the provincial government will release funds by July 1 for these schemes.
For the 6MGD filtration plant in the Hussainabad area, the commission directed Wasa to further reduce the work plan by six months and complete the project in 18 months. Initially, Wasa had planned to complete the project in three years before the commission directed the agency to slash the period by one-third at an earlier hearing.
The judicial commission also took up the decades-old problem of accumulation of sewage outside one of the most visited religious site in Hyderabad, Qadam Gah Moula Ali, where footprints in the sand are said to be of Hazrat Ali (RA).
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The road outside the sacred place, located in the downtown at the foothill of Pucca Qila, remains flooded with ankle-deep sewage most days. Visitors have to wade through the sewerage to reach the sacred site.
Wasa submitted the PC-I of upgrading the drainage line from the Tulsidas pumping station to the Darya Khan drain. The project, titled 'Improvement and Enhancement of Sewerage System in Taluka City Hyderabad', has been estimated at a cost of Rs414.39 million. The commission asked Waseem to coordinate with the Hyderabad commissioner and Wasa to ensure swift approval of the project.
In the absence of functioning sewage treatment projects, Hyderabad's domestic, commercial and industrial effluent is released untreated in Indus River and its canals. Justice (retd) Muslim directed the agency to complete the northern sewage treatment plant in one year after completing the tendering process by June. For the eastern and southern sewage treatment plants in Hyderabad, the commission asked a consultant for the two existing projects to explain why those schemes required renovation without ever becoming functional. The consultant was given a week to submit the explanation.
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The Wasa MD apprised the commission that the Rs200 million project of waste water treatment ponds in Qasimabad had been suspended due to some hurdles. Justice (retd) Muslim directed the task force chairperson to resolve the impediments and oversee timely completion of the scheme.
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