LAHORE - Legislators from across the political divide became one voice on the issue of dysfunctional water supply lines and filtration plants across the province at the Punjab Assembly on Thursday.

The chair appreciated Taimoor Masood for giving answers to the satisfaction of legislators even on his maiden appearance on the PA floor as parliamentary secretary.

The session started one hour and 10 minutes behind the schedule with Panel of Chairmen member Mian Shafi Muhammad in the chair.

During the question hour on Housing, Urban Development and Public Health Engineering Department, PML-N’s Sadia Taimoor said that most of the 573 water filtration plants in Lahore have been dysfunctional for long. She accused the government of not paying attention to cleanliness and expired filters.

Kanwal Altaf accused the department of giving wrong and misleading answers. She said that the situation was entirely opposite.

Manazar Hussain Ranjha said that water supply schemes had been dysfunctional for years and the government was paying no attention to the hue and cry of the public at large.

Treasury legislator Abdullah Warraich joined his colleagues on the opposition benches and complained about improper behaviour of the authorities towards the important issue of provision of potable water to the masses.

PPP’s Makhdoom Usman suggested forming a committee headed by the law minister to address the important issue of water supply lines and filtration plants.

Parliamentary secretary Taimoor Masood impressed the chair on his first appearance to answer to the queries in the absence of relevant minister in the House. He claimed that the government was working on revival of water supply schemes and filtration plants on priority basis. He said that 65 water supply schemes would be rehabilitated in the South Punjab in the first phase. In the second phase, he said, the issue in the cenrtral Punjab would be addressed. He admitted that at least 662 water supply schemes in the province were lying dysfunctional. He held the previous regime responsible for the prevailing situation.

“The previous government has paid no attention to this important issue. But the present government is taking the issue seriously”, he said. The chair praised parliamentary secretary for proving his mettle in the very first appearance in the said role.

PML-N’s Waris Kallu raised the issue of adulteration in commodities like flour, pulses and spices. He said that the government claims of controlling the menace were contrary to the ground realities.

Minister for Food Samiullah Khan counted achievements of Punjab Food Authority during ongoing campaign against adulteration. He said that notices have been served to dozens of manufacturers of substandard cooking oil and banaspati ghee. He said that these units have been directed to improve quality. The PFA has far inspected 3488 hotels, sealed 29 and imposed fine on 288, he said, adding, 121 beverages factories have also been inspected. Out of these, he said, four has been sealed while 13 have been stopped from manufacturing soft drinks.

On completion of agenda, the chair adjourned the session till 9am on Friday (today).