Safe Drinking Water – Centre passes the buck to provinces | Pakistan Today

Safe Drinking Water – Centre passes the buck to provinces

ISLAMABAD – The federal government on Tuesday passed the buck to the provinces on the issue of provision of safe drinking water to the people across country, with PPP chief whip and Minister for Religious Affairs Syed Khurshid Shah calling for a unanimous resolution by the National Assembly to the provincial governments to ensure safe drinking water provision to their people. Responding to a calling attention notice raised by PML-Q members Riaz Hussain Pirzada, Sardar Bahadur Seeher and others regarding the lack of safe drinking water for the people, Shah said the project had been handled by the federal government in the past, but was passed on to the provinces around two years ago.
He said following the 18th Amendment, ministries were being devolved to the provinces and the provinces would have to come forward to provide clean drinking water to the masses. He said any issue could be taken up at the Council of Common Interest (CCI) if there was some hurdle and the federal government would provide all possible support in this regard. Shah said the government had spent Rs 10 billion to Rs 15 billion for provision of safe drinking water across the country, but the provincial governments had failed to maintain water purification plants.
Pirzada had earlier stated that contaminated water was a serious issue and a national programme should be evolved at the Centre for addressing it. Seeher had said that the presence of arsenic in underground water was on the rise in southern Punjab, which was harmful for human consumption. He said at least two water purification plants should be set up in every union council and the water supply system should also be expanded to the rural areas. Responding to a point of order, Shah assured the National Assembly that the service structure of engineers affiliated with Pakistan Engineering Council (PEC) would be reviewed after taking up the matter with the prime minister.
“I will take up the matter with the prime minister and recommend reviewing the service structure of engineers for providing them better facilities, removing their grievances,” he said while responding to another calling attention notice tabled by PML-N MNAs Ahsan Iqbal, Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and Engineer Khurram Dastagir regarding unrest in the engineering community over their service structure and delays in the election of PEC. Shah requested Minister for Science and Technology Mir Changez Khan Jamali to ensure new election for the governing body of the PEC at the earliest.
Jamali expressed confidence that the election process would be completed by September 30.
Shah also admitted that injustice was being done to reinstated employees in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Sindh and the respective governments should follow the precedent set by the federal government by legislating for reinstatement of sacked employees.



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