KARACHI: The Supreme Court-mandated Judicial Commission on Water and Sanitation directed on Tuesday the authorities concerned to clear dues of the staff of Fishermen's Cooperative Society (FCS) and ensure cleanliness at the Karachi Fisheries Harbour. The commission also ordered the installation of septic tanks in all the factories in the fisheries' vicinity.
The hearing was held at the Sindh High Court with the commission's head, Justice (retd) Amir Hani Muslim, in the chair. Karachi Water and Sewerage Board (KWSB) Managing Director (MD) Khalid Mehmood Sheikh, FCS Chairperson Abdul Barr, the health secretary and livestock secretary attended the hearing.
The livestock secretary informed the commission that Dr Waseem Shamshad had been appointed by the government as the fisheries MD who would take charge in a few days.
The focal person appointed by the commission, Asif Haider Shah, apprised the commission that in the first phase, cleanliness would be ensured at the fisheries, and the issue of illegal land and jetty at the fisheries would be addressed in the second phase.
Justice (retd) Muslim observed that some people had made their private jetties. He asked if there was any law that allowed people to do that.
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The FCS chairperson lamented that the society had not been receiving required funds, to which the commission head asked how cleanliness could be ensured without funds. Justice (retd) Muslim sought a report on regulations of the fisheries and issued directives to clear the dues of the FCS staff, ensure cleanliness at the fisheries with the cooperation of all the fisheries stakeholders and install septic tanks in all the factories nearby.
The commission also heard complaints from residents of districts East and West regarding water crisis. Residents of Baldia Town informed the commission that the area was not receiving water since 2007.
The KWSB authorities informed the commission that there was 30% shortage of water in the area presently, to which the commission head remarked where the residents affected by the 30% water shortage would go.
Water is supplied to Baldia Town through Hub Dam, Justice (retd) Muslim said. He added that the water level in the dam had presently reached its dead level.
Residents lamented that water connections had not even been provided in their neighbourhood. The commission head asked the people to be patient as work on a water supply scheme was under way. The commission directed the authorities to complete the scheme.
During a conversation with Justice (retd) Muslim, Baldia Town residents said the commission would pass orders but the KWSB would not implement them. The commission head assured the residents that it was his responsibility to make sure that the commission's orders were being complied with.
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The commission also directed the authorities to complete water supply and sewerage schemes in Thatta.
The Karachi Port Trust (KPT) submitted a report to the commission on the TP 5 project. According to the report, the plan for acquiring the land for the treatment plant had been finalised and the project would be completed in two years.
Th commission head asked the authorities whether the project would be completed during his lifetime. He directed members of the Board of Revenue and KPT to complete the treatment plant as soon as possible.
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