Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz reinforced yesterday that clean drinking water was the top priority of the government when he directed the Council of Research in Water Resources (PCRWR) to immediately set up a water filtration plant in each of Pakistan’s 107 districts.
The Prime Minister said each district will also have a water testing laboratory to ensure clean drinking water for the people.
In response to the deteriorating water quality in Sargodha, Ziarat, Hyderabad and Mardan, the Prime Minister directed that filtration plants be set up in these districts as soon as possible.
He said establishment of low cost water filtration plants and testing laboratories in 107 districts will cost the government Rs. 1.8 billion.
The Prime Minister added that all water supply systems being set up by the federal government should have chlorination plants to ensure people get bacteria-free clean drinking water.
The Prime Minister was informed that PCRWR has implemented a huge project in Cholistan to solve the drinking water problem there.
He was told with the implementation of the project, safe and clean drinking water has been made available to the people in Cholistan.
The Prime Minister directed the Ministry of Science and Technology to immediately launch similar projects in Thar (Sindh) and Kharan (Balochistan).
Shaukat Aziz also directed that a low cost drip and sprinkler system of irrigation should be introduced in the country, alongwith bed and furrow methods of irrigation to save water.
The Prime Minister was informed that PCRWR has developed low cost desalination units for purification of saline water. He directed to set up such plants, at large scale, in the coastal areas of the country where groundwater is brackish.
The Prime Minister said the provincial and district governments should also collaberate with industrialists to set up industrial effluent treatment plants at places where such plants are urgently needed.
He said it was also important to ensure a safe sewerage system so that underground water was not polluted.
He also recommended the council launch a mass awareness campaign in collaboration with the Ministry of Health, Food and Agriculture to educate the general public on effective water usage and need to reduce water borne diseases.