KARACHI (July 24): Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah has said that the installation of RO Plants in the water-starved areas, particularly Thar where water table is so deep with highest rate of TDS, was a revolutionary step to provide drinking water but “our efforts are being criticized that the plants are not working to their capacity has shed water on our efforts.”
This he said while presiding over a meeting here at the CM House to review the progress of installation of Reverse Osmosis (RO) Plants and converting them on solar-based energy.
He said that he has reports that some of the plants have failed to work and some others have capacity issues. “All these issues must be addressed through technical and scientific approach,” he said.
Secretary Special Initiative department Aijaz Ali Khan giving presentation said that in the phase-I, 500 plants were installed between 2012 to 2015 for Rs2.44 billion. Out of 500 plants, 393 are operational and providing water to 1.63 million people. He added that so far 68 RO plants have been converted on solar energy while work on others is in progress.
He said that in phase-II 750 RO plants are being installed for Rs4 billion. Out of 531 RO plants have been installed of them 379 have been made functional. He added that the solarisation of 135 plants is in progress. He went on saying that 17 more RO plants would be made functional if their bores are made deep.
The meeting was told that in the third phase of installation of 750 RO plants started in 2014 for Rs5.49 billion and are scheduled to complete in 2018. So far 525 RO plants have been installed, of them 430 are functional. The solarisation work of 27 ROI plants was in progress.
It was pointed out that in phase-I & II some 1050 RO plants are being turned on solar energy and so far work on 600 units have been completed. The solarisation of Manora RO (Desalination) Plant launched for Rs427 million is in progress.
The meeting was informed that in phase-III 750 Plants being installed at Tharparkare are 145 units at Mithi, 136 at Islamkot, 131 at Chhachro, 129 at Dahli, 71 at Diplo and 95 at Nagarparkar. Out of 707 RO plants, 550 have been installed, of them 125 are functional at Mithi, 108 at Islamkot, 68 at Chhachro, 50 at Dahali, 42 at Diplo and 37 at Nangarparkar. On this the chief minister said that it means 277 RO plants are nonfunctional in Tharparkar on which he asked the secretary to submit him a repot with reasons in detail.
Sindh Coal Authority (SCA): The meeting was informed that at present out of 118 RO plants 107 are operational in district Tharparkar, Umerkot, Badin, Thatta and Sujawal. The installation of another 11 RO plants are in progress. The capacity of the plants is 11,580,000 USGPD to benefit the population of 1,22,489 souls.
IRRIGATION DEPT: Secretary Irrigation Syed Jamal Shah told the meeting that his department has installed 23 RO plants in 23 villages of Jamshoro and Dadu districts for Rs234.574 million and all of them are functioning properly. All the plants are based on solar system, he added.
PHE&RDD: Secretary Public Health Engineering & Rural Development Department (PHE&RDD) Tamizuddin Khero giving presentation to the chief minister said that their department has installed 49 RO plants in nine different districts, of them 41 are functional and eight are un-functional for want of power connection.
He said that the RO plants installed at Rohri (three units), Pano Aqil (three units) and one at Tando Allahayar are un-functional because their powers connection by Sepco are awaited. “We have paid demand note for their power connections to Sepco. As soon as their power connections are installed they would be made functional.
He added that as far as the RO plant of Jati is concerned it is non-functional due to major variation in ground water chemistry in terms of TDS. He added that sea water membrane are required to make the plants functional. On this the chief minister directed him to take necessary measure to make it functional and report him.
LIVESTOCK & FISHERIES DEPT (L&FD): Secretary L&FD Ghulam Hussain Memon said that his department has installed seven RO plants in different villages of Thatta and Sujawal districts for Rs524.169 million.
Minister Livestock Mohammad Ali Malkani said that almost all the RO plants are functional under capacity. He added that as per agreement the contractor has to submit the POL bills, vouchers of maintenance, log book and quantity of water being supplied in support of their claims but this is not being done. On this the chief minister directed the Livestock department that the payment against O&M cost should be made on the basis of verification of meter reading, POL bills and quantity of water being supplied.
Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah said that he has the complaints that the plants were not functioning as per their capacity and most of the contractor claims their bills on the basis of the capacity of their plants instead of the quantity being supplied to the area. “This is unacceptable and he would take strict action if such cases are fond,” he warned.
The Secretary Special initiative said that he has invited NIT for maintenance and operation of the RO plants. On this the chief minister directed him to explore good contractors, otherwise the department should train its staff for operation and maintenance of the RO plants.
He constituted a committee under Secretary Special Initiatives Aijaz Ali Khan to hold meeting with other department engaged in installation of RO plants to work out recommendations for running the RO plants installed in different districts of the province. “I want efficient operation instead of lame excuses,” he said and directed the committee to firm up report within three days.