KARACHI: Nearly 400 million gallons of untreated sewage water is dumped everyday at sea, as the 12-year-old S-III project is soon to be completed, reported media sources on Monday.
When asked about the issue, Provincial Local Government Minister Nasir Hussain Shah said that the delay in the project was not only on the part of the Sindh government. The project would be finished by 2020, he said.
Nearly 400 million gallons of untreated waste were dumped into the sea according to estimates which posed a serious threat to aqua life. It was found that different aquatic plants were also dying, leading to a shortage of food for the small species that eventually threatened the survival of large species.
Moreover, importers have warned Pakistan that if it continues to spill untreated industrial waste into the sea, its exports could be prohibited.
Experts believe that if the provincial government were unable to complete the S-III project soon then the fishing industry would be destroyed due to the fact that the the fish close to Karachi could become unattainable.
Twelve years ago, the S-III scheme, which costed more than Rs36 billion, was launched to treat sewage and sanitation waste before being dumped into the sea.
Speaking to the special transmission on marine pollution and its risks, provincial minister Nasir Shah said that the Sindh government could not be held responsible for delaying the project because the PML-N was in the midst of it when the project began.
The minister claimed that the feasibility report had been sent to the federal government but the report was not accepted. He added that work on the treatment plant at Korangi would also begin on an urgent basis.
Shah said that he had written letters to the project contractors and instructed them to finish the work swiftly. He said the plant should be completed much sooner, adding the government would be attempting to complete the project by 2020. He said if the project was not completed within the timeline, then strict action against the contractors would be taken.
Murtaza Wahab, a CM Sindh advisor on the environment, told media sources that everyone was discussing about issues but stakeholders were being sidelined.
He said the federal government and cantonment board controlled the sea line, adding that earlier, the water commission was established, which had directed industries to construct an industrial waste treatment plant.