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CJP reminds Karachi mayor of responsibility to fix civic problems

KARACHI: The Supreme Court on Sunday castigated city mayor Waseem Akhtar over increasing environmental pollution in the metropolis and asked him to come up with solution to the problems facing the city.

Chief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar, who headed a three-judge bench of the apex court, reminded the mayor that he could not absolve himself of the responsibility to address the issues plaguing Karachi.

The bench was hearing a case pertaining to environmental pollution in the coastal areas of the city and dumping of hazardous and toxic industrial waste into the sea.

Waseem Akhtar complained to the judges that there were a lot of problems in the city.

The entire system of Karachi Water and Sewerage Board, the entity responsible for providing potable water to the people and draining out sewage, has rotted, he said, adding that all trash made its way into sewerage lines and storm water drains have been encroached.

On this, CJP Nisar told the mayor that he couldn’t absolve himself of the responsibilities to fix the ailing system, since he had remained at the helm of affairs for a significant time in the city.

“It is your responsibility too to resolve the issues facing the city,” he observed. “You are mayor of this city. You need to learn from the past.”

The chief justice asked him to come up with solution to the problems on next hearing. The mayor had also been asked to give suggestions to the commission constituted to ensure implementation of the apex court’s orders with regard to provision of potable water and clean environment in the city to fix civic issues.

He said these environmental and water-related issues would have to be resolved and expressed optimism that some progress would be visible within three months.

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