Opposition grills govt on Manchar Lake
* Condemns poor law and order situation in Sindh
ISLAMABAD: The opposition in the National Assembly (NA) criticised the acute water-shortage in lower Sindh and the contamination of Manchar Lake that recently became the cause of death of 18 people.
The issue was raised though a Calling Attention Notice by MNAs from the Pakistan People’s Party Parliamentarians (PPPP).
Parliamentary Leader of the PPPP Makhdoom Amin Fahim stated that poisonous waste from the leather tanning industry was discharged into the lake and was causing deadly water contamination. He also commented on the recent violence in Karachi. “There is no rule of law in Sindh,” he said.
He said that terrorism, murders, rapes and kidnappings have become a daily routine in the province, which was the failure of the provincial government.
He said that it was the responsibility of the NA Speaker and every parliamentarian to condemn whatever was happening in the province.
Speaking on behalf of the Federal Minister for Water and Power, Federal Minister for Information Technology (IT) Awais Leghari admitted that the water of Manchar Lake was contaminated.
He also accepted the fact that there was an acute water shortage throughout the country. He informed the House that President General Pervez Musharraf gave special instruction to Finance Minster Shaukat Aziz to give special importance to the water sector in the upcoming federal budget.
The PPPP members questioned what action the government had taken so far. They asked whether the government would remove the provincial secretary of irrigation.
The minister said that the Calling Attention Notice was about the water shortage, not about the contamination in Manchar Lake. He said the issue should be raised through a fresh notice.
Federal Minister for Industries Liaquat Jatoi told the House that he had visited Hyderabad to review the situation after the death of 18 people due to contaminated water. He said that the two hospitals had received over 1,800 patients since the beginning of disaster from May 15.
Farzeen Ahmed of the Pakistan Muslim League (PML) contended that the incident occurred in the absence of proper environment quality standards and their proper implementation in the country.
PPPP MNA Fauzia Wahab informed the House that the deadly contamination had not only affected human life, but had also destroyed all species, including fish, in the lake.
Later, some women MNAs of the PML moved a resolution condemning a recent rocket attack on the residence of Federal Education Minister Zubeida Jalal in Turbet.