No protected savoring water significant urban areas, NA told


In a shocking revelation, the govt on Monday disclosed within the National Assembly that an awesome majority of the cities, including the mega cities, in Pakistan don’t have safe beverage for citizens.

The data presented by federal Minister for Science and Technology Shibli Faraz on the ground of the house in response to an issue asked by Mussarat Rafiq Mahesar of the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) shows that out of the 29 cities where underground water was tested by the Pakistan Council of Research of Water Resou­rces (PCRWR), there are 20 cities where quite 50 per cent water obtained from various sources was found to be unsafe.

The PCRWR has declared 100pc underground water in three cities — Mirpurkhas and Shaheed Benazirabad (Nawabshah) in Sindh and Gilgit — as unsafe for drinking.

The data surprisingly shows that the underground water obtained from nine sources each in Sialkot and Gujrat is 100pc safe for drinking purpose.

The other cities having quite 50pc of its underground water contaminated, consistent with the PSCRWR, are Multan (94pc); Karachi (93pc); Badin (92pc); Sargodha (83pc); Hyderabad (80pc); Bahawalpur (76pc); Muzaffarabad (70pc); Sukkur (67pc); Faisalabad (59pc); Peshawar (58pc); Tando Allah Yar (57pc); Sheikhupura, Abbottabad and Khuzdar (55pc); Loralai (54pc); Quetta (53pc) and Gujranwala (50pc).

The underground water was found to be contaminated with arsenic, iron, fluoride and bacteria. The minister said the water quality monitoring (2020-21) of other 29 cities of the country had revealed the prevalence of bacteriological contamination (39pc), followed by arsenic (8pc), nitrate (4pc) and fluoride (4pc) etc. Overall, he said, 38pc of the monitored water sources were found safe for drinking in 29 main cities.

“The first symptoms of long-term exposure to high levels of inorganic arsenic are usually observed within the skin, and include pigmentation changes, skin lesions and hard patched on the palms and soles of the feet (hyper Keratosis). These at later stages may end in developing carcinoma . Long-term exposure to arsenic can also cause cancers of the bladder and lungs,” said the minister.

When the questioner asked Mr Faraz to elucidate what steps the federal had taken to supply safe beverage to the citizens, the minister said water was a provincial matter after the passage of the 18th Amendment in Constitution. He said the work of his ministry was only to hold out tests of water through the PCRWR. He said the periodic water quality monitoring reports of the PCRWR were published and shared with the provincial and native governments for undertaking improvement measures at their end.

Mr Faraz said Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Punjab governments had approved water policy and laws associated with improve water quality making it mandatory to see water once during a year. He advised the opposite provinces to also do the legislation during this regard.

Terming things worrisome and important , the minister said the polluted water was the most explanation for many diseases, including cancer, within the country. He said long-term consumption of arsenic beyond the safe level may end in various health implications. He asked the provincial authorities to require the matter seriously, saying that not everyone could afford drinking water for drinking.

The questioner has specifically asked the question about the presence of dangerous chemicals in underground water in Bahawalpur and whether an equivalent water was getting used by the people of Bahawalpur which was causing many diseases. within the second a part of her question, she has sought details of other areas and cities of the country and therefore the details of total projects of unpolluted water launched by the govt in several areas during this year.

The minister in his written reply stated that the PCRWR had been undertaking the periodic water quality monitoring of major cities of Pakistan since 2001. In 2020, he said, there was some improvement in beverage quality thanks to installation of filtration plants in Bahawalpur, he said.

Earlier, opposition members — Naveed Qamar of the PPP and Murtaza Javed Abbasi of the PML-N — protested over the delay within the reply of the questions and asked the speaker to require notice of things , saying that it had been a matter of the parliament’s prestige.

Mr Qamar particularly mentioned the question that had been asked by PML-N’s Tahira Aurangzeb during which she had asked about the name of cities where model courts were performing at present.

In a written reply, Law Minister Farogh Naseem said, “the information isn’t available within the ministry as fixing of model courts isn’t the initiative of the federal …. these courts are administered by the Supreme Court.” He said the registrar of the Supreme Court and therefore the Federal Judicial Academy had been requested to supply the requisite information through many letters, but the knowledge had not been provided yet.

Speaker Asad Qaiser declared that he would take up the matter with the registrar of the Supreme Court.

Meanwhile, the National Assembly once more did not take up majority of the agenda items thanks to lack of quorum. because the speaker started taking over the legislative agenda, opposition MNA Shazia Sobia acknowledged lack of quorum. After a h

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