Kenjhar Lake under attack


Despite repeated reminders of the Karachi Water and Sewerage Board (KWSB), contaminated industrial water and residential sewerage water of Hyderabad and Kotri, coming from Kotri and Noriabad, is still entering Kenjhar Lake through KB Feeder and is badly disrupting the ecosystem of the area.
The contaminated water entering KB Feeder was not only endangering human lives, but was also posing great dangers to marine life and the environment as well.
In this regard Hyderabad Commissioner Ahmed Bakhsh Narejo called a high level meeting in this regard at his office. KWSB Managing Director Misbahuddin Farid, Planning DMD Mashkoorul Hasnain, Technical Services DMD Iftikhar Ahmed Khan and Deputy Chief Engineer Aazam Khan as well as representatives of the Irrigation Department, Environment Department, SITE limited, police and zonal administration were also present in the meeting.
KWSB managing director briefed the meeting that contaminated industrial water and residential sewerage water of Hyderabad and Kotri was entering KB Feeder thus putting millions of citizens in Karachi at risk, besides posing dangers to the marine life and the environment. The recent arrangements made in this regard were only temporary, he added.
Moreover, he stated that residents of the surrounding areas also caused the contaminated water to enter the lake since they needed to collect rain water during the rainy season by opening the gates on the feeder and breaking the blockades. A serious and long term practical strategy should be devised and implemented, Misbahuddin protested.
The Hyderabad Commissioner briefed the meeting that a monitoring cell had been established under Dr Ahsanullah Siddiqui from the Environment Department, whereas the deputy chief of the monitoring cell would be Chief Engineer Aazam Khan. The water board would also provide an office to the monitoring cell at Chalia, the commissioner added.
This cell would not only collect daily water samples from the affected points but would also present reports at Hyderabad Commissioner office and with the KWSB managing director. What remains unclear as to who would then look over the reports to inspect the matter and talk to irrigation cell and environment departments.
The commissioner further explained that iron gates had been placed at the affected points, whereas they were also paying attention to the matters pointed out by the KWSB managing director. He also directed the deputy commissioner to seal all industrial units that were operating without treatment plants.
He said that the Supreme Court of Pakistan had also directed all industrial units to establish their own treatment plants. Later on, Dr Ahsanullah said the factories and industries should ensure pre-treatment of the waste before the discharge process got underway. SITE Chief Engineer informed the meeting that Kotri Treatment Plant would be inaugurated soon but its capacity was half the total water that needed to be treated.
Thanking the commissioner and other participants of the meeting, KWSB managing director said that they needed to complete this work with honesty since there were more than 20 million lives on the line. The commissioner indicated that more meetings of such nature would regularly take place in the future.