Over 40 million to get safe drinking water in Punjab

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World Water Day-2016 observed

Salim Ahmed

Lahore—The World Water Day-2016 was observed here on Monday with a renewed pledge to continue efforts for the sustainable management of freshwater resources. To mark the day different events were held in which speakers highlighted that about 8% of the total global energy is used for water purification and transportation.
They said Pakistan today is a water-deficit country with an annual per-capita availability of around 1000 cubic meters. In 1947 it was about 5000 per-capita. The day is not far off when, with population growing at the current rate, the country will be facing an acute water scarcity crisis.
They said there is enormous wastage of water in homes, farms, factories, parks and golf courses. Millions of unemployed Pakistanis who waste their time in idle gossip, just laze around parks and bazaars and are inclined to petty crime or unwholesome activities, they said.
More than 40 million residents of the rural and peri-urban areas of the Punjab will have access to the safe drinking water through installation of state-of-the-art water filtration plants in 144 tehsils of 44 districts of the province.
On the special instructions of the Punjab Chief Minister Mian Shahbaz Sharif, the Punjab government has launched this initiative, which is aimed at providing the safe drinking water supply to the people, particularly focusing on the rural areas of the province.
In the first phase, around 80 water filtration plants are near completion to provide safe drinking water facility to over 250,000 residents of the priority tehsils of Minchanabad (District Bahawalnagar), Lodhran (District Lodhran), Hasilpur (District Bahawalpur) and Khanpur (District Rahimyar Khan).
Chief Minister Punjab Mian Shahbaz Sharif is determined to serve the people of the province. Besides undertaking a host of public welfare steps, the initiative of provision of safe drinking water to the under-served communities is another feather in his cap. This programme is bound to reduce the health expenditures of the benefitting communities while they would live a healthy life while women would be able to better utilize the time they used to spend in fetching water from far off places.
“Access to safe drinking water is one of the basic human rights but there is also a need to create awareness among the benefitting communities regarding judicious use of this blessing,” says Mr. Waseem Ajmal Chaudhry, CEO of the Punjab Saaf Pani Company, which has been established as a special purpose vehicle to implement this programme.

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