KARACHI - The Sindh Assembly Monday asked the Supreme Court to take notice of coastal erosion and summon Indus River System Authority officials and other concerned federal authorities to explain their negligence in this regard.

The demand was made in a resolution tabled by the Parliamentary Minister Nisar Ahmed Khuhro which was unanimously approved by the house despite reservation from the opposition leader in Sindh assembly Khwaja Izhar ul Hassan.

The House proceedings earlier started almost an hour late from the scheduled timings with the Speaker Sindh Assembly Agha Siraj Durrani in the chair.  

The resolution stated that the house hope that the apex court shall take notice of the man-made disaster and summon IRSA and concerned federal authorities to explain their negligence. It said that the house respectfully expressed its expectation that the Supreme Court shall be pleased to direct the federation to take steps and actions similar to those that have been taken in other countries to protect river deltas and the people living in deltaic region.

The resolution further expressed concern over the failure and apathy of the IRSA to check continuing and accelerating erosion of most fertile costal land of Indus Delta by the sea. It said that an estimated 2.4 million acres of coastal land has gone under sea due to insufficient outflows to sea in the province. The coming six months and the current rough sea conditions are also expected to incur loss of more precious Sindh land.

The resolution blamed IRSA for negligence and said that even from last 25 years they have failed to determine the quantity of outflow of fresh water that would check the sea erosion. It also said that due to sea erosion people whose forefathers lived in the coastal areas are forced to migrate from their lands.

Opposition Leader in Sindh Khwaja Izhar expressed reservation over the wording of the resolution and said that the assembly is expressing its helplessness by demanding the chief justice to take notice of the situation.  “We do not have any objection over the resolution but this is the first resolution in which the apex court is being asked to take notice of the issue,” he said adding if that is the case than Karachiites were counted less and the apex court should also take suo moto over it.

He asked as to what measures, the PPP had taken against the injustices of IRSA during last 55 years and the PPP should inform as to what reforms it had introduced in its tenure in IRSA. He said that the chief minister should also inform as to how he has taken up the issue in the CCI meeting. He also demanded of the apex court to take notice of injustices against them in the delimitations process.

Speaking on the resolution, Nisar Khuhro asked as to why the people of the province are forced to live without water and IRSA despite being a controlling authority is unable to implement the interprovincial accord for the water distribution.

He said that the apex court should take notice of the water shortages in the province. “Why the resolution of a house against the Kala Bagh dam are ignored despite it’s a assembly that passed resolution for the establishment of the country,” he said adding that even MQM-P had spoken against the new talks over the construction of the dam but the grand democratic alliance parties are still silent on it.

Minister for Works and Services Imdad Pitafi said that the apex court takes notice on recovery of two bottle wines but is not taking notice of water shortages in the province. “The supreme court should take notice of this important issue,” he demanded.

LOADSHEDDING INCREASED

Speaking on point of order, the opposition leader raised the issue of loadshedding in Karachi and said that issue between the K-Electric and SSGC has created a miserable condition for the Karachiites and despite letter from the chief minister to the prime minister over the issue there is no improvement in the situation.

“There are 12-hour power outages in the city,” he said adding that the Karachi has always witnessed this injustice and the federal authorities have always adopted a biased attitude towards the city.

The speaker Sindh Assembly said that his constituency was also witnessing an 18-hour power outage. Nisar Khuhro said that the load shedding situation is worst across the province and the situation could be more dangerous as the holy month Ramazan is approaching nearer.

The proceedings were later adjourned for Tuesday.