Keenjhar Lake on brink of extinction due to neglect, SHC told

Keenjhar Lake on brink of extinction due to neglect, SHC told
AFP

KARACHI: The Sindh High Court (SHC) on Friday was informed that the Keenjhar Lake was nearing extinction because of lethargic attitude of the provincial government in protecting it from discharge of industrial waste, sewerage and domestic effluent in the lake that had contaminated it.
Muhammad Mehmood Sultan Khan, representing Karachi Water and Sewerage Board (KWSB), stated this in its comments before a SHCs division bench which was hearing a petition filed by a leader of Pakistan Muslim League-Q against discharge of industrial waste in Keenjhar Lake, a main source of water supply to Karachi. Sultan told the bench that water entity had explored that Keenjhar Lake had contaminated because of dumping of industrial and domestic effluent in lake and it was nearing extinct. He said that it was the responsibility of the provincial government either to set up a combined effluent treatment plant or bound all industries to establish their treatment units.
He said that KWSB was only responsible for the supply of water to the city and Keenjhar Lake comes under administrative control of irrigation department and it was prime responsibility of irrigation department to check situation and take action against agencies that were destroying the lake. Besides, he said secretary industries and commissioner Hyderabad should take notice of situation immediately and cease all those industries that are damaging Lake.
He said that Environmental Protection Agency was also responsible as it was not ensuring implementation of its by-laws for maintenance of proper environment. He told the bench that it was equal important to know how these industries had been allowed to establish at such sensitive place. He questioned authorities who had given permission for establishment of industries without installing treatment plants. Haleem Adil Sheikh, who is the president of the Pakistan Muslim League-Q (PML-Q) in Sindh, submitted in his petition that lake had been polluted by industrial, chemical and domestic waste from Kotri, Nooriabad and Hyderabad.
He said the waste was dumped into the Kalri Baghar (KB) Feeder canal, from which contaminated water came into the lake. He added that the discharge of industrial waste, sewage and garbage from communities living in the vicinity was causing various diseases, including malaria and diarrhea, as well as environmental hazards dangerous for aquatic species. He criticised inaction on the part of the government functionaries to ensure the provision of safe drinking water.
He asked the court to constitute a commission to assess the impact of the discharge of affluent into the lake and take action against all those responsible. He also requested the court to direct the irrigation department and other authorities concerned to close all sewerage inlets into the KB Feeder throughout its passage from the Kotri barrage till the lake.

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