THARI women operate a couple of RO plants in Islamkot.—Dawn
THARI women operate a couple of RO plants in Islamkot.—Dawn

MITHI: Amid a crisis-like situation persisting in Tharparkar and some other districts since closure of almost all reverse osmosis plants months ago, the Thar Foundation has expressed its willingness to adopt all RO plants in Thar on a public-private partnership basis.

Thar Foundation is a welfare organisation established by the Sindh Engro Coal Mining Company (SECMC), engaged in mining and power generation in the district.

Referring to media reports suggesting that 95pc of the 635 RO plants in certain districts had been lying dysfunctional, the SECMC and Thar Foundation on Monday offered to run them to ensure resumption of clean drinking water supply to the people of Thar.

The offer came after “successful” operation of 17 RO plants by the Thar Foundation in Islamkot taluka of the district for about four years. Women operators were assigned the task to operate the plants.

“Rehabilitating and running RO plants in Thar is not an arduous task,” said Mohsin Babar, the spokesman for the SECMC and Thar Foundation, adding that “90pc of the people who use to fetch water for their household appeared to be women and the best way to ensure success of the project was to engage some of these women in running the plants. We trained a group of women and they are now efficiently operating the plants”.

The 17 plants, 10 of them belonging to the Sindh government, had been installed in 2012 and had been lying non-functional until four years ago, Mr Babar said.

He added that they were made functional to provide WHO-standard drinking water to 25,000-30,000 people and this became a model project.

In reply to a question, he said that his company had put forward a proposal to the Sindh government to take over dysfunctional RO plants in this district in order to get them revived through the Thar Foundation.

Published in Dawn, April 6th, 2021

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