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Residents of Pakistan's port city Karachi have been left puzzled after a report said today that up to 80 per cent of the water supplied to them was unfit for human consumption due to bacterial and faecal contamination.
According to the report by Pakistan Council of Research in Water Resources (PCRWR), more than 80 per cent of water samples collected from surface and groundwater sources in 14 districts of Sindh province, including Karachi, were not fit for human consumption.
The bad news for the estimated 20 million residents of the provincial capital was that 107 samples out of the 118 collected in Karachi were found unsafe for human consumption after laboratory analysis.
These samples had bacterial contamination with 40 per cent having faecal contamination, the report said.
Situated on the Arabian Sea, Karachi is the most populous city in Pakistan. The city is among Pakistan's top industrial and financial centres, but is also known for its high rates of violent crime.
The PCRWR has submitted the report to the judicial commission constituted by the Supreme Court a few months ago to investigate authorities' failure to provide clean drinking water, and the poor sanitation in Sindh.
The water samples were collected from Karachi, Hyderabad, and several other districts of the province.
Shocked over the findings of the report, Justice Muhammad Iqbal Kalhoro, who heads the commission, asked the authorities to provide what corrective measures they had taken to ensure clean drinking water was supplied to the people.
The authorities informed the commission that the water being supplied to the residents was being chlorinated.