KARACHI - The scarcity of drinking water in Thatta district has become a severe problem for the locals, compelling them to migrate to provincial capital Karachi. The lawmakers from the ruling coalition as well as the Opposition benches belonging to Thatta district unveiled before the Sindh Assembly on Tuesday that people of the area have no other option left but to migrate to some other place in search of drinking water. Women lawmaker of ruling PPP Humera Alwani on point of order said that five Tehsils of Thatta districts including Shahbandur, Keti Bandur, Jati, Ghorabari and Kharo Chhan are passing through the worst crisis of drinking water shortage of the history. Even, the people have no water for drinking which resulted in the migration of locals from Thatta to Karachi on large scale, she pointed out. Taking advantage of water shortage, the 'water mafia has increased the miseries of the helpless locals through selling water on exorbitant rates, she said. She further pointed out that a tanker fill with water which was earlier available at Rs1,500 per tanker is now available at Rs3,500 per tanker in rural towns of the Thatta district. Now there is a democratic government in the country as people have lot of hopes from this government. She appealed to the government to provide drinking water to Thatta district. Another lawmaker from the ruling coalition MQM Heer Ismael Soho also raised voice against drinking and irrigation water scarcity in Bathoro Tehsil of Thatta district. Muhammad Ali Malkani of PML-Q from the Opposition benches also raised water shortage issue of Thatta district. Replying to the issues raised by the lawmakers, Provincial Minister for Irrigation and Power Syed Murad Ali Shah admitted the fact of the water scarcity in Thatta district. He said that the water flow upstream Kotri barrage was only 7,000 cusecs on Tuesday, which should have been at least 26,800 cusecs. He assured the provincial legislature to provide drinking water facility in the Thatta district. It may be noted here that Thatta district is considered as a neglected and backward area of Pakistan as most of the villages in Thatta district has not proper physical infrastructure like roads, electricity and other basic necessities. The agricultural activities are suffering due to non-availability of irrigation water since last three years. The underground water is brackish and not fit for irrigation or drinking which resulted in poor agriculture and non-availability of safe drinking water. Hence, the socio-economic conditions of the rural communities in the target area are poor. Only 15 per cent of the total land of targeted villages is under cultivation and rest of the 85 per cent is remaining uncultivable. The plantation of crops and the forest trees are decreased up to 50-60 per cent in the area and no govt or private nursery is available in these villages. Meanwhile, surveys conducted by a number of development organisations revealed that there is no filtration system at household level and most of the families drinking the canal water in Thatta district. The gastro and diarrhoea ratio is very high and the basic health facilities are not maintained. The nearby basic health units (BHC)s units are closed or no doctor is available thats why rural communities need to travel to cities. Some cases found that the majority of people suffering from water borne diseases and having no option or awareness regarding its control, survey reports said. It said that women fetching canal water from 1-2km meters and some times even more. They have no awareness to clean or filter that water in the area. During the water intervals they have small ponds, tanks or ditches to store water and use that water for drinking purposes as that water is contaminated and sometimes animals and birds also drink from these ponds and same is used by the village communities, the reports revealed.