KARACHI: Dec 6 (INP) Human waste is purposefully being added to water, observed Chief Justice Saqib Nisar during Wednesday’s hearing of the water pollution case
In July, a report submitted to the Supreme Court stated that 90 per cent of drinking water samples collected from Karachi were unfit for human consumption and a significant portion was tainted with human waste.
Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah and former Karachi mayor Mustafa Kamal arrived at the Supreme Court’s Karachi registry to appear before the bench hearing the case.
During the hearing, Chief Justice Nisar observed that the water situation in Sindh is troublesome, adding that the chief minister has been summoned so he can resolve the situation.
“If you say, we both can go drink and check the quality of water from any stream in Mithi,” Chief Justice Nisar remarked.
Justice Nisar added: “I wish [PPP leader] Bilawal Bhutto Zardari knew of the water situation in Larkana”.
Justice Faisal Arab also observed that people go to court after witnessing the failure of the government.
Sindh Cheif Minister Murad Ali Shah informed the bench hearing the case that the water crisis is not as extreme as shown by the petitioner, adding that “if I get an opportunity I will show my video to the court”.
He was referring to a short video by petitioner Shahab Usto which was shown earlier in court through a projector.
The chief minister said that the provincial government is working to resolve the issue, however, it is facing shortage of funds.
Shah claimed that 100 per cent water supplied to Lahore, 73 per cent in Sheikhupura and 88 per cent in Sargodha is arsenic, adding that the court proceedings appear to only single-out Sindh.
To this, the chief justice responded that even if the video is set aside, the extremity of the situation can be gauged from the commission’s report into the matter.
Later, the apex court adjourned the hearing until December 23, directing the chief minister to submit a written response on the issues facing the government on the matter of water contamination.
In the last court proceedings of the case, Justice Nisar observed: “This is a matter of people’s lives, it cannot be ignored. The chief minister will be asked about all the steps he has taken in this regard.”
The chief justice also remarked that the judiciary must intervene when the government fails to fulfil its responsibilities.
Former mayor Mustafa Kamal during his appearance before the court said that the metropolis needs 1250 mgd (million gallons a day) but receives only 1.51 per cent of the total water supplied to Sindh.
He said K-3 and K-4 projects were introduced during his tenure, adding that the project even after its completion would not meet the city’s water requirement.
Separately, while addressing journalists after the hearing, Kamal said that that the metropolis is facing an acute shortage of 600 MGD. He added that the completion date given by the government is 2018, whereas according to his knowledge, the project will not be completed even in four-year time.