Karachi: Asia's largest reverse osmosis plant, having a capacity to produce two million gallons of water daily, was inaugurated today in Pakistan's drought-ridden Sindh province.
The plant which is billed to produce two million gallons of water per day is expected to reduce the water crisis in Tharparkar district where last year hundreds of children have lost their lives by drinking untreated water.
Former President Asif Ali Zardari inaugurated the plant. Zardari, who is also co-chairman of the Pakistan Peoples Party which heads the province, said his party was committed to provide clean drinking water to the people of the area.
Zardari said Asia's biggest RO plant has been set up at a cost of Rs 300 million while many smaller plants having a capacity of 10,000 gallons per day have also been set up across the region at a cost of around Rs 2.5 million each.
The Sindh government plans to install 300 reverse osmosis (RO) plants in water-starved regions of the province by February.
The number of the ROs already made operational is 150. Irshad Hussain, the chief operating officer of Pak Oasis, the company that has been working in Thar's water sector since 2004, said the government had allocated Rs 5.4 billion allocated to set up RO plants in the region.
He said these plants can be operated through electricity or solar energy and steps were being taken to convert most of the filter plants to solar energy.
"It is solar energy that matters here in this region as it makes operation of ROs cost effective," he added.
Taj Haider, a senior PPP leader who is overlooking the operation in the region said: "For years now people living in the region have had to travel several kilometres to fetch a few buckets of clean water from reservoirs in their area. The situation is going to change now for the people of Tharparkar.
Reverse osmosis plant uses a purification technology that remove salts and other pollutants from water.