KARACHI: The Sindh High Court (SHC) on Wednesday summoned Sindh Environmental Protection Agency (Sepa)’s director general along with a comprehensive report on steps taken by the agency to prevent Keenjhar Lake, which was one of the major water resources for Karachi and Thatta, from domestic and industrial effluent.
Headed by Justice Sajjad Ali Shah, a division bench also directed provincial law officer to file response of official respondents – secretaries of irrigation, industries; forest, environment and wildlife; fisheries; health departments; Karachi Water and Sewerage Board (KWSB)’s managing director; and others to the petition.
The petitioner, Haleem Adil Shaikh, Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid-e-Azam (PML-Q)Sindh chapter president and former advisor to Chief Minister Sindh, approached the court seeking its directives for respondents to stop discharge of contaminated water into the lake. He also pleaded to the court ask respondents to set up a water quality testing laboratories at Keenjhar Lake to regularly check the water quality.
The petitioner said that the Keenjhar lake, which is situated at distance of about 122 km East from Karachi, was a main source of providing water to the entire population of Karachi. He said that on September 05, 2013, he visited the areas including Kotri, Baghar (KB) Feeder at Kotri, Choal, Nooriabad and Keenjhar, from where untreated industrial waste was being discharged into the lake, making water more poisonous.
He submitted that the life of people was in danger as contaminated water and effluent from Kotri and Nooriabad industries were discharged in the lake.
The petitioner said that around 35,000 to 40,000 people of nearby villages wash their clothes and utensils near the lake, which also led to contamination of water.
He said that due to dumping of industrial waste into the lake, water color had changed to blue and green, which emitting unpleasant smell.
He said that besides causing danger to human population, the contaminated water was also affecting biodiversity in the lake, which would directly affect the livelihood of fishermen.
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