CJP grills Karachi Mayor over unsafe water, substandard milk

  • Learn something from the past and give me the solution: CJP to Waseem Akhter
  • Sale of water through tankers needs to end now: Mian Saqib Nisar

KARACHI – Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Justice Saqib Nisar summoned Karachi Mayor Wasim Akhtar on Sunday to explain his position over issues regarding water and substandard milk in the metropolis.

The CJP, who conducted the hearing at Supreme Court’s Karachi Registry on weekend also reprimanded Managing Director (MD) Karachi Water and Sewerage Board (KWSB).

During his conversation with Akhter, the top judge observed that Karachi Mayor was responsible for solving the issues of the city.

“You are the Mayor of city, learn something from the past and give me the solution,” observed the judge in strong-words.

On the other hand, the mayor responded that multiple issues were plaguing the city adding that the system of water board was troubled.

Addressing the bench, Akhtar said the city faces several problems, highlighting the city’s rampant illegal electricity connections and issues of the KWSB.

The chief justice responded that these reasons did not absolve Akhtar of his responsibility to resolve the public problems.

Justice Saqib Nisar remarked that reports were not enough as the court needed their implementation.

Addressing Managing Director (MD) Karachi Water and Sewerage Board (KWSB) Hashim Raza Zaidi, the top judge said: Give me a deadline for when the matter of dirty drinking water will be resolved.

“When will the sewerage water be treated and made available?” CJ Nisar asked.

On the issue of milk, the CJP directed that companies should differentiate between milk and tea-whiteners by mentioning them clearly on the packing.

Moreover, the chief justice ordered the chief secretary to direct the drug inspector for holding market raids in  a bid to confiscate injections used to enhance milk production in cows by infusing hormones.

He also ordered the Federal Investigation Agency and the drug inspector to evaluate the stocks of injection with distributors and retailers.

Earlier on Saturday, the court had turned down the dairy farmers’ request for suspension of court orders to ban the prohibited injections warning that the dairy farmers would be imprisoned if they tried to pressurise the administration by creating artificial milk shortage.

Water Tankers

The court remarked that if the owners of water tankers in Karachi hold a strike, it was the court’s responsibility to deal with the matter.

“If a strike is observed, we know how to deal with them,” a three-judge bench of the apex court remarked and clarified that the sale of water through tankers needed to end.

The bench was hearing the constitutional petition filed by Shahab Usto, a concerned citizen and lawyer, at the apex court’s Karachi registry.

The case was filed against the provincial government’s failure to provide potable water, better sanitation, environment and associated issues.

“Water is available in Karachi but is sold to the people through tankers,” remarked the judge.

Fahim Zaman, an activist and former administrator of the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation, told the bench that 250 hydrants were operating in Karachi.