Karachi - Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah has directed the local government and other concerned departments to prepare a master plan for the water supply and sewerage systems in Sindh and submit it to him.

He also directed them to prepare a detailed plan under which people of the province would be provided clean drinking water after purging it of impurities.

He was presiding over a high-level meeting held here at the CM House on Monday to review the directives issued by the Supreme Court (SC) with respect to the provision of clean drinking water to everyone in the province and to stop the release of untreated effluent into the water bodies.

The meeting was attended by provincial ministers Manzoor Wassan, Dr Sikandar Mendhro, Jam Khan Shoro, Mohammad Ali Malkani, Fayyaz Butt, Chief Secretary Rizwan Memon, Advocate General Zamir Ghumro, P&D Chairman Mohammad Waseem, Principal Secretary to CM Sohail Rajput, Secretary Health Fazal Pechuho, secretary local government, secretary PHE department, all the commissioners and other concerned officers.

The CM told the meeting that the SC was assisting the provincial government in the provision of clean drinking water and disposal of waste. “It is our prime duty to take necessary measures so that people, right from Kashmore to Karachi, could drink hygienic water,” he said.

Murad said that there were two different targets for each city. “The first one is to prepare a detailed plan under which the existing water supply and drainage systems would be repaired along with the installation of treatment plants, while the deadlines would also be set for their completion and the cost would also be fixed so that the funds could be released. This must be completed within a week, and the next week I’ll hold another meeting in which plans would be discussed district-wise and the timelines would also be set for their completion,” he said, and added, “The other assignment is the preparation of a master plan for the water supply and drainage systems for each and every district in the province. This must be done within next 15 days.”

Local Government Minister Jam Khan Shoro said that there were three phases of K-IV. “The first phase is of 260 MGD, which would be completed by 2018, the second phase is also of 260 MGD and it is scheduled to be completed by 2020, while the third phase of 130 MGD would start in 2020 and would be finished in 2022,” he explained.

He further said that work on phase-I was going on in full swing, as 700 different kinds of machineries were being used whereas 1100 men had been deployed for the purpose. “Work on 122-kilometer long stretch is in progress,” the minister informed.

Shoro said that in order to enhance the storage capacity of KB Feeder, NESPAK, the consultant, had been hired for Rs35 million. “The company has prepared PC-I titled, ‘Water requirement for K-IV project, which is under scrutiny,” he told.

The chief minister said that the existing water distribution system was not delivering, and directed the water board to ask the World Bank to conduct the feasibility study. “This can be done by replacing the old distribution system with a new one in selected areas,” he said, and added, “For example start from Gulshan-i-Iqbal, and replicate the same in Malir, North Nazimabad, Nazimabad and then in the areas which are not covered by the water board.”

Addressing the Water Board MD Hashim Raza, the CM said, “I want you to properly plan things and come to me with financial requirements.”

Murad also pointed out defective billing system of the water board for bulk of purchasers.  Replying to a question of the chief minister, the water board MD said that out of 5503 consumers, 1692 were being billed on working meters.

He went on saying that 3420 notices had been issued to consumers for installing meters and recently 286 new meters had been installed.

When the chief minister directed the MD to start work on filtration plants, including cleaning of clarifiers and installation of chlorinators, Shoro told him that Rs25 million had been earmarked for regulator operation and maintenance of filtration plants, while laboratories had been given more equipments and the lab staff had also been sent to PCSWR for training.

The chief minister said that the Sindh government had provided Rs446 million for chlorination and lab equipments; Rs58 million for the repair of existing filtration plants while Rs3500 million for the construction of new filteration plants at Gharo, Pipri, Dumlotee, NEK, COD and at Hub. “I want you to complete these schemes on a war footing,” he directed the local government minister.

WASA HYDERABAD: The chief minister was told that WASA had made hectic efforts to set up new filtration plants of 30 MGD at Jamshoro Road, and that three, out of five clarifiers, had been made functional, while a new lab had also been set up.

He was also told that the quality of water had improved at the source.

Shoro told the chief minister that the provincial government had sanctioned 21 schemes of WASA in the water supply and sewerage sectors to be completed at the cost of Rs11567.67 million.

“These include construction of two new filtration plants, repair of four, out of five filtration plants, restoration of three sewage treatment plants and construction of sewerage system phase-III Qasimabad etc. The meeting was told that combined effluent treatment plant at Kotri had been made functional, which the chief minister had approved to be completed at the cost of Rs63.79 million, outside the budget.

The chief minister directed the commissioners of Sukkur and Larkana divisions to plan uninterrupted water supply, disposal of treated effluent into canals and installation of filtration plants and come up in the next meeting for discussion and their execution.

The chief minister directed the commissioners and secretary health to make necessary arrangements in their respective districts, including Karachi, for the proper disposal of hospital waste and hospital liquid. “There must be separate filtration systems at hospitals,” he said, and directed the water board MD to identify the areas where the lines carrying water and sewage were close to each other and separate these meticulously.

The chief minister, concluding the four-hour long meeting, directed the district administration through chief secretary and respective departments to come up with workable solutions to the problems discussed at the meeting. “I want people of Karachi to open their taps at home, and consume boiled water, and that this must also be safe,” he said, and made it clear, “I want this task to be completed efficiently and that I would not tolerate lethargy and inefficiency.”