KARACHI: Chief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar on Wednesday asked Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah to ensure provision of potable water and safe environment in the province.
The CJP also directed the CM to rid the citizens of the metropolis of the water tankers.
Headed by the CJP, a three-judge bench of the apex court, was hearing a petition seeking directives for the provincial government to provide potable water and safe environment in the province.
The chief minister and former Karachi mayor Mustafa Kamal appeared before the court in response to its notices. The chief minister was summoned to explain the measures his government has taken to ensure provision of safe drinking water, better environment and sanitation facilities to citizens.
During the hearing at the apex court’s Karachi registry, CJP Nisar offered the CM to use the court’s shoulder to resolve the issues, saying it was the strong one.
“We were elected by votes of the people, therefore, ours are the stronger shoulders,” Shah quipped.
He conceded that the North Sindh Urban Services Corporation (NSUSC), which was set up to lift garbage from urban cities of the province, was not a workable project.
Did the government fix the responsibility for its failure, the CJP asked. When the CM failed to come up with satisfactory reply, he said how shameful it was that no one was held responsible for that.
“The reason behind summoning you to the court is to make you realise the gravity of the issue,” he observed and asked the CM to suggest a solution of the problems and give a written undertaking, outlining the time frame for mitigating water woes.
Shah told the judges that he was already concerned about the issue of water.
“I am seeing smile on the faces of the people on this statement of yours,” the chief justice remarked.
He said this matter relates to the fundamental rights of the people and the court was empowered to step in if the executive authorities failed to live up to their responsibilities.
Meanwhile, the bench directed the chief minister to conduct a probe into the allotment of the 50 acres of the land reserved for Mehmoodabad treatment plant for residential purposes
Advocate Shahab Usto had moved the court against the failure of the provincial government to provide potable water, better sanitation and environment to citizens.
At the last hearing, CJP Nisar clarified that there would be no compromise on air and water pollution issue as this was a matter of the lives of people.
The apex court had earlier constituted a judicial commission, headed by Justice Iqbal Kalhoro of the Sindh High Court, to probe failure of the government in providing safe water to the people of the province.