ISLAMABAD – Chief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar on Wednesday asked the public not to use the bottled water and remarked that Lahore and Sheikupura were running dry due to mineral water companies.
The Supreme Court was hearing suo motu case pertaining to the alleged exploitation of water resources by these companies.
“Most of companies are selling substandard water,” the top judge remarked, adding that these firms extracting billions of gallons water but paying peanuts against it.
Lawyer for the bottled water companies argued that expenses incurred on the water extraction, its purification and packaging, to which, the chief justice replied: “We shut down your turbines and asked the companies to sell tap water”. The chief justice further remarked, “the companies purchase water for one rupees and sell it for Rs52”.
Lamenting over the decrease in ground water level, the top judge said that the mineral water companies have turned the country into barren land. He again asked the people to use tap water, adding that people in villages still use this water for drinking.
CJP Nisar said that the companies will have to pay Rs1 per litre if they want to work work. In its reply, the lawyer for the firms said that they are ready to pay the price which will be decided by the court.
Justice Ijazul Ahsar remarked that Rs5,000 per cusec has been decided for the cement industry.
On Oct 6, the Chief Justice of Pakistan said that he has left drinking water by Nestle Pakistan which lacks minerals and ingredients necessary for healthy water.
The CJP remarked in a case pertaining to a forensic audit of operations of a private mineral water company and quality check of all major bottled water brands.
The top judge said the water sold by mineral water company is not according to the water quality standards and it lacks all that is written on the bottle.
Earlier, Chief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar, who was heading a two-member bench, issued the order while hearing Suo Motu case pertaining to the alleged exploitation of water resources by mineral water companies operating in the country at the Supreme Court’s Lahore Registry.
The issue came up during the hearing of a case related to drying up of the Katas Raj pond due to consumption of a huge amount of water by nearby cement factories through drill bores.
A lawyer for the federal government informed the court that the mineral water companies pay the government 25 paisa per litre of water, while selling it for Rs50 per litre.