Govt prepares Rs 2bln project to provide clean drinking water to Islamabad: NA told

Govt prepares Rs 2bln project to provide clean drinking water to Islamabad: NA told

ISLAMABAD: Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Ali Muhammad Khan on Monday informed the National Assembly that the government had prepared a project of Rs two billion for providing clean drinking water to the residents of the federal capital.

The minister expressed these views while responding to a calling attention notice regarding non-availability of potable water in all parts of the country particularly Islamabad and Karachi.

He said the federal government had formed a task force under the Sindh governor to address water scarcity and other important issues in Karachi.

He said the federal government wanted to resolve this issue with the cooperation of the provincial government.

The minister said water supply was a devolved subject under the 18th amendment; however, the federal government was very much concerned over it and would extend full support to the provinces in that regard.

He said the provincial government should take action against the tanker mafia in Karachi, adding water distribution system in Karachi needed to be improved.

About the K4 water project in Karachi, he said about Rs 12 billion had been released to the Sindh government.   

Taking floor on the subject, Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said water was a national issue and a national approach should be adopted to address it.

He said the federal government and the provincial governments needed to collaborate and take steps to ensure that every citizen of the country had clean drinking water.  

Minister for Planning, Development and Reform Makhdoom Khusro Bakhtiar said that K-4 water project had great importance for Karachi.  He said water issue required attention of all the political parties.

He said Prime Minister Imran Khan recently chaired a meeting of National Water Council and stressed the need for integrated approach for conservation, storage, management and efficient utilization of the available water resources.

He said National Water Council would serve as an effective platform to develop consensus among the stakeholders on all issues pertaining to water resource management.

No significant attention was paid to water-related issues in the past. He stressed the need for chalking out a comprehensive roadmap in consultation with provinces and other stakeholders, for the implementation of National Water Policy (NWP).

Pakistan Muslim League Ahsan Iqbal dispelled the impression that his government had not focused on water issues. He alleged that funds allocated by the PMLN- government for water storage had been withdrawn by the PTI government.  

Pakistan Peoples Party Syed Khursheed Shah alleged that no funds had been allocated by the federal government to address water issue in Karachi.