KARACHI: The Supreme Court-appointed commission of inquiry into lack of potable water and abysmal condition of sanitation has directed Sindh Environmental Protection Agency to take action against industrial units discharging toxic effluent and gases. Justice Mohammad Iqbal Kalhoro, who heads the one-man judicial commission, has directed Sepa to prepare a report about industrial units causing environmental pollution by producing toxic gases and effluent. The commission has directed Sepa to divide industrial units into different categories according to their contribution to environmental pollution. Sepa informed the commissioned that Air Monitoring Unit installed on the roof of Sepa’s head office in Karachi to monitor air pollution is properly functioning, however, its data logger experiencing technical fault has been sent to Lahore for repairing. Sewage treatment plants-I (STP-I) and STP-II in Shaheed Benazirabad are complete as required infrastructure is concerned, but want of electricity have not been put into operation. According to him, his department has already place an order for purchasing transformers which are likely to be supplied within two to three days. After which plants will be made fully functional. Health secretary informed the commission that all medical superintendents have been sensitized about the issue of providing drinking water to all and sundry in hospitals in a high-level meeting and hopefully within next 15 days clean drinking water would be provided to patients and their attendants. During previous hearing, Pakistan Council of Research in Water Resources (PCRWR) told the commission that water supplied to people of the province for drinking purpose was found contaminated with sewage. Water samples were collected from 14 districts of the province, which contained 33 elements harmful to human life. PCRWR’s report said that 88pc water in Larkana was contaminated, which contained 60pc human waste, whereas water in Hyderabad contained 42pc human waste, Jamshoro 75pc, Tando Allahyar 36 pc, Badin 23pc, and Tharparkar 28pc. A citizen, Shahid Bhatti, told the commission that more than 150 illegal hydrants are running in Karachi, particularly in districts, West and Malir. The Karachi Water & Sewerage Board’s managing director stated that though he has made efforts to stop illegal water hydrants but the miscreants break the pipelines and take water illegally. He expressed that the matter was reported to police but no action was being taken by them. The commission, thus, issued notice to DIG West and East to come up with replies as to why the directives of the apex court has not been complied with. Published in Daily Times, July 30th , 2017.