LAHORE: Punjab Local Government Minister Zeeshan Rafique has pledged that through collective efforts they will be able to provide a safe environment for future generations by keeping the underground water clean.

He was addressing a seminar organised on Thursday under the auspices of Punjab Municipal Development Fund Company (PMDFC) on ‘Cleaning of sewage water ponds’. Special Secretary Local Government Department Asia Gul, PMDFC Managing Director Syed Zahid Aziz, research experts and teachers of various educational institutions also participated.

The minister further said that the elimination of pollution and standard sanitation arrangements are the focus of Punjab Chief Minister Maryam Nawaz. “She wants to see the proactive role of youth in the research sector. The recommendations of the conference will be placed before the Punjab government and will be implemented,” he added.

Rafique said that due to a lack of proper treatment, sewage water leads to groundwater pollution. “Use of contaminated water for agricultural purposes spreads many diseases, including cholera and jaundice. The purpose of today’s seminar is to focus on the issue of water purification of the pond’s water. With the help of experts, rural ponds will be made a habitat for aquatic life, especially fish. With the support of the World Bank, wastewater treatment plants are being built for the first time under comprehensive projects in eleven cities,” he added.

On this occasion, the participants were told that in collaboration with UNICEF, the PMDFC has completed a model project for cleaning wastewater ponds in Sheikhupura. The plan to make sewage water reservoirs reusable will be extended in a phased manner.

PMDFC MD Syed Zahid Aziz while giving the details of the project said that the company has completed the pilot project of cleaning sewage ponds from floating wetlands, adding that these floating wetlands treat wastewater naturally without energy or chemicals.

“Unfortunately, the rate of water pollution in Pakistan is alarmingly high compared to other countries and 70 percent of this polluted water is used for agriculture. The death rate of children due to diseases caused by dirty water is 33 percent,” he regretted.

Addressing the event, PMDFC Chairman and prominent architect-planner Pervaiz Iqbal and board member Qamar-ul-Zaman said that providing research-based best municipal services is their motto. “The Company’s platform is present for research projects of educational institutions,” they added.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2024

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