The Sindh Assembly was informed on Wednesday that Karachi faced a water shortage of around 550 million gallons on a daily basis as the Karachi Water & Sewerage Board (KWSB) did not have enough resources to serve around 25 million residents of the city.
This was disclosed by Sindh Local Government Minister Syed Nasir Hussain Shah while responding to verbal and written queries of lawmakers during the question hour of the session.
The local government minister told the House that the demand for potable water in the city stood at around 1,000 million gallons per day (MGD) and the KWSB could not supply more than 485 MGD water to the residents of Karachi.
He claimed that every month, up to 50,000 people relocated to Karachi from other parts of the country and that was one of the main causes behind aggravating situation of water supply in the city.
He said that a proper pipelined network did not exist in the major parts of the city and that was another shortcoming on the part of the KWSB to overcome the acute water shortage in Karachi.
Shah said that work had remained halted on the K-IV bulk water supply project for two years and during this time, the cost of the scheme had increased manifold. He told the House that the Water and Power Development Authority (Wapda) had been tasked with the construction of the K-IV project.
He said that a lot of reform process had been undertaken in the KWSB to improve its services. Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) legislator Khurrum Sher Zaman demanded that the KWSB be handed over to the army to improve its functioning and the people would support such a step.
He alleged that the ruling Pakistan Peoples Party ensured that the water tanker service in Karachi should unduly serve its loyalists in the city.
The local government minister assured the House that the provincial government would ensure that staffers of the municipal agencies in the province got a minimum Rs25,000 monthly wage as per the Sindh government’s announcement.
Meanwhile, Sindh Health Minister Dr Azra Fazal Pechuho, while participating in the ongoing pre-budget discussion in the assembly, informed the concerned lawmakers that during the last five years, the out-patient departments of the government-run hospitals had served some 56 million patients.
She said the Sindh government ensured that all the eligible children of up to five years of age were covered under the regular anti-polio vaccination drive as that was why no new police cases had been reported from the province in the last two years.
She informed the House that public healthcare facilities in the province had performed 6,085 kidney transplant operations in five years. She claimed that the ambulance service of the Sindh government in the last five years had shifted 1.45
million patients to hospitals for emergency treatment.
Dr Azra maintained that some 38 million people had been vaccinated during the coronavirus emergency for their protection against the deadly viral disease. She added that female medical practitioners and lady health workers were being trained in diagnosing breast cancer, and 270 dialysis machines had been installed in public healthcare facilities in Sindh.
Lawmaker of the Grand Democratic Alliance (GDA) Sheharyar Khan Mahar said the monsoon rains of the last year had exposed well the performance of the Sindh irrigation department.
He said the province would not have suffered such a widespread destruction had there been a proper functional drainage system there.
He lamented that the provincial agriculture department had been doing nothing to serve the farmers in the province. He alleged that the Sindh government provided no seeds to the farmers for the cultivation of rice.
He also complained about adverse law and order situation in the areas of Shikarpur, Jacobabad and Khairpur. He lamented that policemen had been sacrificing their lives almost daily while fighting criminals in the province.
The GDA MPA demanded that the army be engaged for proper training of the policemen. PTI MPA Bilal Ghaffar demanded that the Sindh government brief the House about its performance in the education sector in the last five years and also about its educational plan for the next five years.
He also demanded that the Sindh education minister inform the assembly about the number of schools built in the province during the last five years.
He said the Sindh government should be held accountable for the delay in the Safe City project as owing to the absence of the latest security surveillance cameras, street crime in Karachi had been on the rise. The Sindh government had also failed to improve its revenue collections, Ghaffar said.
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