March 08 , 2017
SC directs Sindh govt to make all water plants functional
KARACHI: The Supreme Court (SC) of Pakistan on Wednesday directed the chief secretary Sindh to form a committee to make all filter and treatment plants fully operational and ensure chlorination of water by setting up of computerised laboratories.
While a hearing the petition against the provincial authorities for failing to deliver potable water supply, sewerage and solid waste services across the province, a three-member apex court bench comprising Justice Amir Hani Muslim, Justice Qazi Faez Isa and Justice Faisal Arab directed the top bureaucrat of the province to ensure the deployment of trained staff in the laboratories to examine the quality of water.
The apex court asked the chief secretary to constitute a committee comprising the senior officers of the government and water quality experts to oversee the whole work. The court ordered that the proposed committee should come up with a report showing how much amount would be spent for making the plants operational and specify the time frame for completing the task.
The bench directed the Karachi Water and Sewerage Board’s (KWSB) managing director to immediately make Shershah and Mauripur sewage treatment plants operational and take steps to remove the encroachments from another plant whose land was stated to have been grabbed.
Displeased on the authorities failure to make the treatment plants operational, Justice Hani Muslim observed that it was a criminal negligence that toxic water was being drained into sea without treatment. The court barred the government from releasing more funds to private company North Sindh Urban Services Corporation (NSUSC) over its below the par delivery of potable water and cleanliness services in the different districts of the provinces.
At the outset, Advocate General Zameer Ghumro presented a compliance report on the condition of filter and treatment plants, admitting that the plants were not fully functional. These plants are in a condition to be restored to make them fully functional.
A water quality expert, who was among the committee members inspecting the plants, told the judges that the filter plants were operational, but there were devoid of chlorine, skilled staff and maintenance.
Petitioner Shahab Usto suggested that the water purification system should be computerised to ensure provision of drinkable water to the public in more effective manner.
The KWSB’s chief engineer complained that there was shortage of qualified and skilled staff and the already present staff was not dedicated to their job, adding that those appointed in the water board and its laboratories lacked all the required credentials.
Sindh Chief Secretary Rizwan Memon assured the court that the government would release funds to the water board for making all the treatment.
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