KARACHI: The Supreme Court-mandated commission on water and sanitation in Sindh recommended the establishment of six garbage transfer stations on scientific lines, a master plan for water distribution in the provincial capital and sought timely completion of treatment and effluent plants.
In its final progress report, placed before the Supreme Court, the commission, headed by retired Justice Ameer Hani Muslim, made several recommendations, including proper disposal of garbage, improvement in water distribution and sanitation, revamping of environmental body and establishment of a centralised complaint cell in Karachi to address complaints about civic issues.
The commission, which was established in January last year, and is set to complete its tenure on Jan 15, in its final report said that the recommendations were based on its directives passed from time to time and the undertakings/commitments given by various departments, agencies and individuals.
Judicial commission places final progress report, making various recommendations, before Supreme Court
The commission suggested the establishment of six garbage transfer stations in Karachi on scientific lines and said that this scheme had been included in the annual development programme (ADP) of 2018-19 and required a follow-up and implementation by the Sindh Solid Waste Management Board (SSWMB).
Another scheme about development and transformation of landfill sites to meet international standards has also been made part of ADP 2018-19 and the provincial government needed to identify and set up such landfill sites for all districts in Sindh for proper disposal of solid waste.
The SSWMB has to carry out waste-to-energy projects through the ADP schemes during the current fiscal year, it added.
The report further said that the SSWMB would be activated in other divisional headquarters of Sindh during the current financial year.
Water and sanitation
The commission observed that the Karachi Water and Sewerage Board must prepare a water distribution and sanitation master plan to meet the existing and future needs of the city.
The existing water supply schemes needed to be rehabilitated and the government should come up with a phased plan within three months. Improving the quality of drinking water by rehabilitating and updating the existing water filtration plants through close monitoring and the task of monitoring may be assigned to the Pakistan Council of Research in Water Resources after proper evaluation and fulfilment of formalities, it added.
The commission urged the provincial and federal governments to address the issues related to K-IV on a priority basis and said that water losses, which consumed about a quarter of Karachi’s total water resources, must be checked while flow meters at all important water supply stations must be in place by June 30.
It also underlined the need for timely completion of a number of water supply schemes in the provincial metropolis and recommended setting up a centralised complaint cell at the commissioner’s office to address public complaints regarding all civic issues in Karachi.
The final report further stated that the completion/rehabilitation of treatment plant-I (TP-I) and TP-III must be completed by July and December 2019, respectively, and TP-IV be completed as per schedule (at the end of 2020).
The commission also asked Defence Housing Authority to complete a 2MGD treatment plant at Seaview by April and to ensure that no untreated waste was discharged in the sea after the completion of the said TP.
The TP-V is committed to be installed by the Karachi Port Trust within two years near the Mai Kolachi Bypass and the combined effluent treatment plant at Nooriabad SITE should be completed by June 2019 while similar effluent plants at SITE in Hyderabad and Sukkur must be completed by December 2019, subject to budgetary allocations.
The commission recommended a complete overhauling of the Sindh Environmental Protection Agency by strengthening its physical, technical and academic capacity. The Sepa DG has suggested the establishment of climate change, research and development and law enforcement wings, it added.
The provincial government should take steps to establish environmental laboratories, set up Sepa offices at district level and Sepa must complete the survey of all industrial areas.
Published in Dawn, January 11th, 2019