KARACHI - Sindh Chief Secretary Syed Mumtaz Ali Shah presided over an important meeting regarding Supreme Court’s order about charging Rs1 per litre from mineral water companies on the water they are extracting from the ground.

The meeting was briefed by the Convener of apex court committee Dr Muhammad Ahsan Siddique and officers of Sindh Food Authority regarding water extraction by the various mineral water and beverage companies. Professor Ahsan Siddique informed the meeting that 29,961452 (litters) water per day is being extracted by the 10 companies from their 14 plants in Karachi, Hyderabad and Sukkur.

Syed Mumtaz Ali Shah stated that these companies are using very huge amount of water and are paying nothing for it.

He said that collecting 1 rupee for 1 litter will help Sindh government to collect huge amount on water tariff.  The Chief Secretary Sindh also directed Secretary Industries to collect the data of utilization of surface water by the hotels and big and small industrial units in the province.

He also directed concerned authorities to install water flow meters and Close-circuit cameras will also be installed at the respective premises of the companies involved in the extraction of groundwater or utilization of surface water for their business. The extraction will be monitored closely by the Environment Protection Agency (EPA).

Mumtaz Ali Shah futher stated that as per directives of the Supreme Court a mechanism will be devised for calculation, collection and monitoring of the recovery of water charges from all major industries consuming surface or groundwater. Secretary Local Government Khalid Hyder Shah has been nominated as focal person in this regard.

Chief Secretary further stated that provincial government’s aim is to strengthen the provincial food authority so that it could perform its functions in the best of manner. He further stated that a central laboratory of Sindh Food Authority will be established in Karachi.

Meanwhile, Chief Secretary also took notice of media reports regarding spread of Super bug Typhoid in the Province. The Chief Secretary issued directives to the Secretary Health Saeed Ahmed Awan for submitting detail report in this regard. Chief Secretary also directed the authorities concerned to undertake urgent measures to ensure vaccination in all those areas where virus is reported.

He further directed the Secretary Health to provide improved health facilities to the patients suffering from the virus. “An awareness campaign must be launched informing the people of the virus”.