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Tuesday July 23, 2024

14,000 public schools in Sindh lack water facilities, PA told

By Our Correspondent
June 13, 2024
Sindh Minister for Education, Culture, Tourism and Archeology, Syed Sardar Shah addresses media persons during a press conference held at Shahbaz Hall in Hyderabad on Saturday, September 24, 2022. — PPI/File
Sindh Minister for Education, Culture, Tourism and Archeology, Syed Sardar Shah addresses media persons during a press conference held at Shahbaz Hall in Hyderabad on Saturday, September 24, 2022. — PPI/File

Sindh Education Minister Syed Sardar Ali Shah on Wednesday informed the provincial assembly that around 14,000 public schools are without any water supply facilities. He was responding to the queries of lawmakers during the PA’s question hour.

Shah also disclosed that 38 primary schools in Karachi lack toilets. He told the House that solar power systems installed on government-run premises are often stolen. He said the government has been working on constructing boundary walls, toilets and water supply facilities at public schools.

He told the lawmakers that every concerned member of society should take part in the monitoring mechanism for the functioning of government schools to brighten the academic future of the children enrolled there.

He said that the latest digital and cellular technologies need be used to ensure the attendance of teachers at public schools. He also said the government sacks public schoolteachers who are absent from their duties.

PA opposition leader Ali Khursheedi made the assurance that the opposition lawmakers would not do any politics on the issue of education, saying that they completely support the government in ensuring quality teaching at schools.

Transport plans

Senior Transport Minister Sharjeel Inam Memon reiterated the government’s resolve to launch modern, swift and comfortable public transport services in every part of the province.

Memon said that new routes of electric buses would be launched in Karachi. He said that the new provincial government of the Pakistan Peoples Party resumed work on the construction of the Red Line corridor soon after assuming charge.

He pointed out that the same project had come to a grinding halt during the rule of the caretaker government in the province due to “the sheer inefficiency on the part of the interim rulers”.

Water issues

Local Government Minister Saeed Ghani said that a water crisis would emerge in Karachi if the six legally operating water hydrants are shut down by the government.

Ghani was responding to two different call-attention notices from lawmakers. One of the notices moved by opposition legislator Rehan Akram pertained to the water shortage in the PS-122 constituency in the city.

The minister informed the PA that six legal water supply hydrants have been operating in the city in accordance with the directions of the apex judiciary. He said that there is a 50 per cent gap in the supply and demand of water in Karachi, so shutting down these hydrants would mean that several areas in the city would go dry.

He also said the government has been spending money out of its annual development programme to restore the water supply from the Hub Dam canal. The development work to restore supply from the canal will be completed in 12 months to ensure 150 million gallons of water supply daily to the city.

The minister said he had earlier admitted several times in the House that the city has been facing a water shortage, while this shortfall increases in summers due to higher water consumption. He said power load-shedding by K-Electric also affects the water supply in many areas.

He pointed out that the areas mentioned in the call-attention notice were at the tail-end of the water supply system in the city, and that these localities receive water from the bulk water supply source of Hub Dam.

He informed the legislators that Karachi has been receiving 70 mgd from the Hub Dam source against its quota of 100 mgd. He said that public-private partnership has been adopted to carry out development work to restore the Hub Dam canal.

He said the water supply to the affected areas in the city would improve after the completion of this project. He informed the House that some 220 illegal hydrants have been demolished in the last six to eight months. He disclosed that metered water connections were given to the six legal water hydrants in the city. He said the hydrants supply water mainly to such areas where there is no pipelined network of water supply of the Karachi Water & Sewerage Corporation.

Ghani said several underprivileged localities receive water tanker service for free or at government-approved controlled rates. He said six major illegal connections pilfering water from a 48-inch-diameter supply line in Landhi had been cut off. He said the government is working on many development projects to fulfil the water supply needs.