SC seeks record of Punjab drinkable water projects

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Observer Report

Lahore

The Supreme Court has directed Chief Secretary Punjab Zahid Saeed to submit the complete record of PC-I of all clean drinking water projects of Punjab till 23rd of this month.
A three-member bench headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan, Justice Saqib Nisar passed the order while hearing a suo motu case into the drainage of polluted water into rivers and canals at the Supreme Court’s Lahore registry on Saturday.
As the proceedings started, the Punjab Chief Secretary appeared before the bench on being summoned and apprised the court that Punjab government will set up three wastewater treatment plants in Mehmood Booti, Shadbagh and Shahdra areas of Lahore.
He submitted that the preparation of PC-I of all these plants will be completed till 23rd of this month.
The Court has adjourned hearing of the case till 31st of this month.
Chief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar on Saturday, while taking a jibe at Punjab Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif asked why he shouldn’t visit hospitals as “someone has to tend to the people of Pakistan as well.
“Shahbaz Sharif instead of showcasing work through advertisements should concentrate on doing concrete work.”
Presiding the three-member bench on dumping polluted water in rivers case hearing in the Supreme Court’s Lahore Registry, the CJP remarked the citizens of Lahore are being exposed to poisonous water.
“The government has been working for 10 years, what has been done in this regard?” he questioned. “Lives are at stake in this matter, they [provincial government] run advertisements of works done, they should also give advertisements of what hasn’t been done yet. The situation is appalling as datasheets too contain CM Shehbaz Sharif’s pictures”.
“Political parties should utilise party funds for advertising, not people’s tax money,” the CJP remarked. “Provincial government must remember that court can order the National Accountability Bureau for investigation of advertisements by Punjab government,” Justice Nisar added further.
Criticising government’s negligence towards health, CJP said billions of rupees were spent on the Orange Line Train project. He stated the OLT project is important too but that Shehbaz Sharif and Water and Sanitation Authority officials must answer why health is being neglected.
“Why should I not visit the hospitals? Somebody has to serve the people as well. How many times did the chief minister and officials visit hospitals? If people responsible for this work will not do it, somebody else will,” the CJP remarked.
Justice Umar Atta Bandiyal reiterated that the country is drowned in debts while rulers spend money on advertisements. “The governments must prioritise things. The court is concerned and fearful of the situation of debts,” he added. Justice Nisar further inquired about the amount spent on OLT Project and was informed by the chief secretary that Rs180 billion were spent.

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