Wilfully and without regret, Karachi dumps some 417 million gallons of raw and disease laden sewage into sea waters. This includes both industrial as well as domestic effluent – an amount enough to fill 550 Olympic size swimming pools. Of the 472 million gallons sewage produced by the city every day, just about 55 million gallons receive some form of treatment. The 3 sewage treatment plants (total design capacity 150 mgd) shamefully operate at one third of their capacity and treat just about 55 mgd.
As if the sewage dumping was not adequately catastrophic, the city also dumps 8000 tons of solid waste into the harbour.
The sewage is dumped into the sea at numerous locations. This activity is carried out in full view of the concerned government departments. They are also the ones that are mandated to prevent this crime.
95 percent industries in the province do not comply with the legal limits imposed by NEQS (National Environmental Quality Standards). The Environmental Protection Agency chooses not to proceed against these organisations. It is thus a party to crime against environment and aquatic life.
The state organisations like KWSB and SEPA are failing to perform their environment protection duties for past several decades. The citizens demand that :
- The dumping untreated sewage into ocean waters be immediately halted.
- The National Environmental Quality Standards be vigorously implemented for all industrial and municipal effluents and emissions. The violating industries be heavily fined or closed down.
- The three sewage treatment plants be made to run at their full capacity and more plants established to undertake complete treatment of the full load of effluent. The treated water must be reused for alternate applications such as plantation, parks and agriculture.
- It must be ensured that no municipal or industrial effluent is discharged to any drain, nullah, ground, lake or water-body, except the channel approved by the government and the one that feeds to an effluent treatment plant.
- The dumping of 8000 tons of solid waste into harbour waters be stopped forthwith and arrangements be made for sending all solid waste to approved landfills.