KARACHI - The judicial commission on water and sanitation has directed the authorities concerned to clean fish harbours in Karachi and come up with a roadmap to prevent pollution.

The Supreme Court-mandated commission headed by Justice (Retired) Amir Hani Muslim chaired a meeting on marine pollution and municipal and industrial waste across the west wharf, Karachi fish harbour and Korangi fish harbour. Government officials and other stakeholders participated in the meeting. The commission expressed concern over poor sanitation conditions at Karachi and Korangi harbours and issued directions for their cleaning.

It was observed at the meeting that the harbour, earning millions of dollars in fish exports, seemed to have no proper cleaning system and there was no proper arrangement for cleaning the harbours.

The participants were led to discuss the issues those have caused significant damage to marine life and shipping industry. Export of fish has also considerably fallen.

The chief secretary informed the commission that a taskforce had been formed under the supervision of the fisheries secretary with representatives of other stakeholders like provincial and federal governments.

The chief secretary said the task force will take steps to minimize the marine shoreline contamination. Keeping in view the enormity of the task and multitude of dimensions related with the task, the commission is of the view that the secretary and the concerned secretaries of the federal government should take lead and formulate a way forward.

The commission has decided to personally visit the identified places that need to be cleaned immediately. The commission along with all the stakeholders will visit the harbours on Monday in the order of priority. The commission has also decided to get the Karachi fish harbour and thereafter Korangi fish harbour cleaned.

The commission has made it clear that in the first place emphasis will be placed on cleaning the fish harbours and thereafter (or simultaneously) addressing issues relating to dumping of solid waste into the seawater and disposing of untreated industrial effluent and municipal sewerage into the sea. The commission has already taken steps in this direction and some of the required facilities are in the execution phase. I

The commission observed that all concerned departments will be participating in this task of eliminating sea contamination and clearing of the aforesaid areas, while the whole exercise will be supervised by the commission itself.

The meeting was attended by representatives of federal and provincial governments, Major(R) Azam Suleman Khan, Chief Secretary Sindh, Fazalullah Pechuho, Secretary Livestock and Fishers, Jamal Mustafa Syed, Secretary, Irrigation Department, Chairman Task Force, Khalid Hyder Shah, Secretary Local Government, Government, Saeed Ahmed Mangnejo, MD Sindh Solid Waste Management , Mukhtiar Hussain Soomro, Secretary Environment and Alternate Energy, Asadullah Khan, DMD, KW&SB, Haji Ahmed Memon, Director Finance, Karachi Fisheries Harbour Authority, Rear Admiral Asif Hameed, General Manager (Operations) KPT and others.