Supreme Court is hearing a drinking water case in court summoned Chief Minister Sindh Murad Ali Shah to appear in person to tell the court, how we ended up drinking impure and toxic water.

In Sindh most underground water quality is alkaline mixed with salts and organic compounds that was the reason in government of Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto salinity and drainage schemes were introduced in order to curb the impurity in soil water. The canals were built to drain the water consisting toxic and organic compounds due to paddy and other crops.

This was due to usage of fertilizers and the pesticides for the crops in Sindh. These canals either have been converted to irrigating artilleries or have been occupied by the farmers reinstated to the agricultural lands. This resulted an accumulation of impurities in the soils increased the contamination in the underground water reserves.

Then a revolution of industrialization was introduced in later governments with no control on the emissions and the waste. The waste Management was a subject – only the west and the advanced countries were familiar with. The Environment Law was first introduced in United Kingdom in 1990 and was named as Environment Act followed by the Climate Change act in 2008.

Pakistan was not legging behind and introduced its first environmental Protection Act in 1997 but have never witnessed its practical implication in the field till today and no one has been prosecuted for damage to the environment. As far as I am aware there is no regulation or statutory order on the quality of Environment or the Waste Management approved by Sindh. All the provinces work under the Pakistan Environmental Protection Act,1997. To say, Pakistan is member of International Climate treaties for example a Paris Climate Agreement but its engagement towards the objectives of treaty has merely been served.

Unfortunately the environment has never been seen in its broad prospective, and has only been limited to the quality of air. Whereas the fact is environment has never been used in collective terms in true spirit. The increased human dependency on the fossil fuels in all walks of life does not only pollute environment but also compromises the quality of soil and so the products.

The increased accumulation of impurities in the soil and air has already broken the chain of the natural purifying process. The depletion of impurities in the environment in its wider term has compromised the quality of air we breathe and the quality of water we drink.
The governments in province of Sindh has pumped in billions of rupees in drinking water facilities alone since decades but result product has never achieved the targeted goals. The lack of upgradation renovation of drainage lines or misappropriation of funds allocated for the water and sewage projects resulted poor quality of drainage and drinking water facilities. The improper works and corruption within organization left population of urban Sindh at severe health risks.

The rural Sindh where the education nowadays is for a name only, the majority of population lives under the feudal influence with no or least civic sense. Their water supplies are not of the world standards and are contaminated with hazardous substances. There is no controlled mechanism or the procedure to public the result of drinking water quality tests. Recent tests carried out on the instruction of High Court of Sindh under the supervision of District and Session Judge Larkana revealed a shocking tests results. I do not have a detailed report so I won’t be able to comment in details however the fact is now known to all that the schemes were crap and fraud and were targeted to make money by the public represents with the help of their co-partners – the public servants.

I trust there would be some more emerging facts of the conspiracy plans of polluting the Sindh environment. Investigation on the embezzlement in water and drainage schemes will be completed and the culprits will be punished- this is at least I can hope for. In the mean time I would urge that temporary ban should be imposed on the supply and used of bottled drinking water in the public offices till the government in power can fix their wrong doing.
This embargo should also be extended to the houses of party leaders and the Sindh government officials. This will be a clear message to them that they are not privileged society / class in Sindh. They should get their equal share in the environment which they have toxicated by interfering the nature.

By Mukhtiar A Bhutto

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