‘84pc of population lacks access to safe drinking water’

ISLAMABAD: Eighty-four per cent of the population does not have access to safe drinking water in a country where commercial banks posted windfall profits exceeding Rs475 billion in three years, the Senate was told on Tuesday.
Quoting a study, Provision of Safe Drinking Water, conducted by the Pakistan Council of Research in Water Resources (PCRWR), Minister for Science and Technology Rana Tanvir Hussain said only 72pc of water supply schemes were found to be functional, and 84pc of those had supplied water that was not fit for consumption.
The water from 14pc of water supply sources in Sindh and Punjab were found to be heavily contaminated with arsenic, well above the permissible limit of 50 parts per billion, Mr Hussain revealed.
He said Rs279 million had been spent on the project — Provision of Safe Drinking Water — over the past four years.
Law Minister Zahid Hamid informed the Senate that commercial banks in the country had earned profits exceeding Rs472bn in the last three years.
Of the total profit earned by commercial banks in three years, four banks had earned profits exceeding Rs270bn.
At the top is the Habib Bank Limited with a profit of Rs88bn, followed by MCB with Rs71bn, the United Bank Limited with Rs66bn and the Allied Bank Limited with Rs44.77 billion.
The Senate took up the issue of the acquittals of culprits involved in torching Christians’ homes in Lahore.
He said such incidents must be taken notice of and the culprits behind this must be traced and punished.
Noman Wazir of the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf raised the issue of the power sector’s circular debt which has, once again, reached Rs560bn.

Learn More