No false narrative on Kemari gas leakage deaths: Zartaj

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ISLAMABAD, Feb 21 (APP):Minister of State for Climate Change Zartaj Gul Friday said no false narrative would be made before the masses on Kemari gas leakage issue that had killed several innocent people in Karachi.

She made these remarks during a meeting of Senate Standing Committee on Climate Change with Senator Sitara Ayaz in the chair here.

She was responding to the query of Senator Pervaiz Rahid who criticized the minister for her negligence to take serious notice of the matter.

Senator Pervaiz Rashid told the committee that no first information report (FIR) of the incident was lodged against the culprits in the police station where the death toll had risen to 15.

“It is the responsibility of the minister of state to initiate inquiry and move an FIR on the matter. It is regrettable to see that no political leader has consoled with the family of the deceased,” he added.

Minister of State, Zartaj Gul replied that after 18th Amendment of the Constitution, environment was devolved to the provinces. Sindh Environmental Protection Agency (SEPA) was under the direct control of the provincial government who was responsible to take measures.

She informed that SEPA, Maritimes Security Agency, SUPARCO were conducting an inquiry report on the matter that would reveal the fact behind the crisis that had killed over a dozen poor people.

“We are in contact with SEPA on this issue and waiting for the report to know about the root cause of the issue and no culprit would be left at large,” Zartaj added.

Earlier the committee members exchanged heated arguments over the delay on waste management and collection project in the federal capital.

Senator Sherry Rehman condemned the non-cooperative conduct of Metropolitan Corporation Islamabad (MCI) and Capital Development Authority (CDA) as both the Mayor and Chairman CDA were not present in the meeting.

She also censured the MCI staff for not presenting the report of garbage generation and collection status in the Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) which was sought by the committee since November 19, 2019.

Chairperson of the Committee Senator Sitara Ayaz directed to issue notices to the Mayor MCI and Chairman CDA.

Moreover, Saaf Bath Project CEO Suleman Sufi gave a detailed briefing on cheap, eco-friendly and easy to implement first sanitized container toilets of the country.

He told the committee that Pakistan was losing $2.5 billion due to lack of public toilets.
“Around 53 percent women have no access to safe sanitation facilities and 79 million people across the country lacked decent toilet facility,” he added.

Sufi said the container toilets were a modern and sophisticated piece of infrastructure that could be easily built and moved anywhere.

A single container toilet maximum of 5 seats would cost of Rs 1.5 to 1.6 million which was far cheaper than the conventional mortar and brick model.

“70 percent toilets built under Swachh Bharat (Clean India) have failed due to incompatible and poor infrastructure,” he told the Committee.

Sufi mentioned that his non-governmental organization was providing safe and clean lavatory with proper training of sanitary workers.

Minister of State Zartaj Gul welcomed the Saaf Bath project and proposed Suleman Sufi to join Clean Green Pakistan programme under which 300 Green Toilets were already established in the federal capital’s schools and 50,000 schools target was set across the country was in the pipeline.

She highlighted that Muzzaffargarh was made the first open defecation free district of the country.