KARACHI: The Supreme Court appointed commission of the inquiry into water and sanitation woes was informed on Saturday that 90 percent of drinking water provided to residents of the city was not fit for consumption and could be hazardous to human health. Pakistan Council of Research in Water Resources (PCRWR) told the commission, headed by Justice Muhammad Iqbal Kalhoro that water supplied to people of the province for drinking purposes was found contaminated with human waste. 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. The commission head observed that the report of Dr. Ghulam Murtaza shows deplorable condition of drinking water in the hospitals and asked the Secretary health to explain the situation. He replied it is the responsibility of local councils to provide water in the hospitals and his department is concerned only to ensure that water tanks in the hospitals are duly clean. He complained that he was unable to take action against medical superintendents, who actually look after the affairs of hospitals and his directions to them to provide clean drinking water to the people are ignored. The provincial law officer argued that health secretary was fully empowered to take action against the delinquent officials and can recommend action against them to their competent authority in view of such state of affairs. The commission directed medical superintendent of all hospitals to make substantial arrangements to provide clean drinking water to the people in their hospitals. They were further directed to submit compliance and periodical reports every month showing quality of water being supplied in their respective hospitals. Meanwhile, 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 (KSWB) 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 regard to The commission said that during previous hearing it had asked the petitioner and Advocate General Sindh to forward their argument as to whether it can initiate contempt proceedings against the provincial authorities for failing to implement the apex court orders. AG has shown his readiness to argue, but since the petitioner is not present, this issue is adjourned to July29, it said. Earlier, AG Zameer Ghumro argued that the commission had no jurisdiction to issue show-cause notice to officials and initiate contempt proceedings against them. He was directed by the commission to come prepared to forward arguments on this point, but he sought one week’s time to forward his arguments. Following the Supreme Court orders the judicial commission had conducted the inquiry into the shortage of safe drinking water and poor sanitation conditions across the province and submitted his 130-page report within six weeks. Published in Daily Times, July 16th , 2017.