Inquiry ordered into disposal of sewage into natural waterway

Published December 24, 2018
Residents claim the local municipality is using four acres of land for the area's sewage system. ─ File photo
Residents claim the local municipality is using four acres of land for the area's sewage system. ─ File photo

HYDERABAD: Retired Justice Amir Hani Muslim, who heads the one-man judicial commission appointed by Supreme Court on water quality and drainage system in Sindh, on Saturday visited a water scheme in Kandhkot and ordered an inquiry into release of sewage into a natural waterway.

Justice Muslim expressed his reservations over working of the executive engineer, who claimed that the entire amount required for the procurement of pipes had been released. The judge asked the DC to assess value of the purchased pipes. He was also directed to assess the amount utilised by the PHE department against this scheme. The reports were required to be submitted in the commission by the DC on Dec 29 and the DC, chairman/CMO and executive engineer were told to attend the commission’s deliberations.

Residents of the area recorded their reservations over the scheme before the commission. One of them, Aftab Bachkani from Haibat Khan village, stated that the local municipality was using four acres of land for the area’s sewerage system. According to him, the same land has been converted to New Sabzi Mandi with the result that sewage was flowing into Sindh Dhoro, a natural waterway, and farmlands.

The commission directed the deputy commissioner to hold an inquiry into the matter independently and interact with the complainant, chairman/chief municipal officer (CMO) and executive engineer of the public health engineering (PHE) department. He asked the DC to submit a detailed report in the commission.

RO plant at school

Justice Muslim also visited the reverse osmosis (RO) plant installed at the Govt Higher Secondary School, Kandhkot, and noted that the plant was not in use despite being functional as it had only one tap and installed inside the school hence inaccessible to the general public.

The judge asked the contractor and project director concerned to appear before him with details of plant’s installation and the payments made by the federal or provincial government.

He directed a magistrate to visit RO plants within his jurisdiction and submit a report regarding their functioning and whether they were catering to people’s water requirement.

Garhi Yasin water scheme

Justice Muslim also visited Garhi Yasin, where he found a pumping station completely encroached upon and another one ill-maintained though functional.

The deputy commissioner was asked to ensure that the municipal committee would file an application for removal of the encroachments from the amenity plot in line with the apex court’s orders.

The judge asked the town committee chairman and Garhi Yasin town officer to appear before him on Dec 28. He also ordered restoration of the pumping station, rehabilitation of the oxidation ponds in the town and widening of the pond by the PHE after identifying the area.

Bhan Syedabad visit

During his visit to Bhan Syedabad in Jamshoro district, Justice Amir Hani Muslim had found the town’s filtration plant non-functional since 2010.

He asked for the list of the officers who were present on the date of its completion.

Notices were issued to the officers asking them to appear before the judge on Dec 28. PHE chief engineer Shamsuddin Sheikh has also been asked to ensure the officers’ appearance whether they were serving or had retired.

The Jamshoro DC had stated that the water supply scheme remained slow and needed improvement. The executive engineer, sub-engineer, sub-divisional officer and contractor, besides the chairman and town municipal officer, were directed to appear before the judge on Dec 28.

The commission noted that the executive engineer and other officers failed to ensure requisite improvement in the Bhan Syedabad water supply scheme. The Jamshoro DC, after his visit, had suggested that three motors be got repaired but the executive engineer did not do this although such expenses were covered in the maintenance cost.

Published in Dawn, December 24th, 2018

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