Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Saqib Nisar remarked that the provision of clean drinking water is the responsibility of Sindh government, while hearing the water pollution case at the Karachi registry on Saturday. A four-member Supreme Court bench under Chief Justice Saqib Nisar is hearing the case. The chief justice observed that Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah was summoned to the court to give a timeframe for resolving the water pollution crisis in the province.
"Contaminated water is being put in the rivers and lake, which is later provided to the people for consumption," the CJ remarked. "We have raised the water pollution issue in Punjab as well, we will get it resolved." Justice Nisar added that he holds the chief minister of the province and his cabinet responsible for the provision of clean drinking water to the province. The CJ further said that due to the consumption of contaminated water, citizens are facing acute diseases, including hepatitis.
He questioned the Sindh Advocate General regarding what action had the provincial government taken against the water tanker mafia, adding the court reserves the option to issue 'contempt of the court' notice. "Court wants a time frame on oath. We should be told what actions the Sindh government has taken from December 5," he said. He further added that the hearing of the case would continue till midnight if needed as he would want the issue to be resolved.
The CJ told Sindh Chief Secretary that the water pollution issue must be resolved before next general elections. He also observed that as much as 45mgd of contaminated water is being put in the sea on daily basis. Questioning in regards to the measures taken against the tanker mafia in Karachi, the chief justice was informed that tankers in the metropolis supply around 13 million gallons of water per annum to the citizenry.
The court for Saturday's hearing has summoned details of the PC-1 of the industrial treatment plan from the Sindh government and instructed Sindh's AG to submit a report on the same in the next hearing. Referring to his earlier visit to Mayo Hospital, Justice Nisar remarked that he visited the establishment to safeguard lives of the citizens as it is mentioned in the Constitution that the judiciary is also responsible for the provision of basic services to the people.
During the hearing, the chief justice took suo moto notice of the medical facilities and government-run hospitals of Sindh. Justice Nisar asked how many medical colleges of the province have 500-bed hospitals near them and also if the hospitals operating in the province were associated with the Pakistan Medical and Dental Association.
Remarking that there are doctors in government-run hospitals in interior Sindh who do not even know how to check the blood pressure of patients, the chief justice said he will visit the interior of the province and observe the current standards of healthcare facilities.