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Supreme Court summons CM Shahbaz in drinking water case

LAHORE: The Supreme Court on Saturday asked Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif to appear today in a case pertaining to non-provision of potable water in the province.

Headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar, a three-judge bench summoned the chief minister during the hearing of a suo motu case pertaining to the supply of contaminated drinking water in the province.

The bench was informed that around 540 million gallons of polluted water was being dumped into Ravi river daily.

The chief justice remarked that Lahore, which is the heart of Pakistan, was being meted out such treatment, let alone other cities.

He asked the Punjab chief minister to immediately appear before the court to explain what measures his government has taken to ensure drainage of sewage in the city.

At the previous hearing, the chief justice asked the Punjab chief secretary to explain where hefty amount earmarked for provision of potable water was being spent.

According to a report submitted by the Pakistan Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (PCSIR), water samples collected from the chief justice’s chamber were found to be contaminated.

CJP Nisar threatened to issue a stay order against the Punjab government’s Orange Line Metro Train project, if it didn’t improve healthcare and educational facilities.

If Sindh Chief Minister could be summoned to the court, why can’t be Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif to respond to the court’s queries, he asked.

During the hearing, CJP asked the chief secretary to explain as to how many new medical facilities were established in the past ten years and why the provincial government has not set its priorities?

The people were being made to drink water contaminated with arsenic and other poisonous chemicals, he observed.

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