LAHORE - Chief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar on Saturday came down hard on the provincial government for not doing much for the safe drinking water for the citizens in the provincial capital.

“The government couldn’t do anything since last ten years in power. Also give an ad of your failure,” the Chief Justice remarked while hearing a suot motu into dumping of untreated polluted water into Punjab’s river. He expressed concerns over supply of poisonous water to the citizens Lahore.

“The government must know that the court can order the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) for investigation of advertisement by it,” the CJP remarked.  The CJP ordered the Punjab government to submit PC-I of clean water project in the court by March 23. The court also demanded all data to be ‘on record’ and adjourned till March 31.

The top court also snubbed the provincial government for committing negligence towards health. Justice Nisar said that billions of rupees were being spent on the Orange Line Train project. Mentioning Punjab CM and WASA officials, the CJP said that why the health was not being given importance.

He showed inclination towards calling chief minister to explain it.  However, the CJP abstained from summoning the Chief Minister when the Chief Secretary said that he was unable to come to court as he was facing health issues.  The Chief Justice asked the Chief Secretary who admitted that nothing tangible had been done by the government to cater the alarming situation of polluted water being dumped into rivers.

“We can’t see our people drinking polluted water,” the CJP observed. The bench also pointed out pollution in Lahore’s Canal.

Meanwhile, the CJP observed that why he should not visit the hospitals as somebody has to serve the people.  He raised the question that how many times the Punjab CM and other officials had visited hospitals.

“Somebody else have to do care if the responsible people are not doing,” the CJP commented.  Justice Umar Ata Bandial remarked that the rulers spend money on advertisement despite that the country was drowned into foreign debt.  “It is very fearful situation. The government must prioritize things,” he remarked.

The CJP also asked the Punjab Chief Secretary about money being spent on Orange Line Project who replied that Rs 180 billion were spent on it. However, Barrister Aitzaz informed it that the total cost of the project touched up to Rs. 235 billion.  Advocate Ayesha Hamid, court-appointed commission, said that alarming figures about dumping of untreated polluted water into rivers. She said that 540 million gallon untreated water of Lahore being thrown into River Ravi on daily basis while 310 MG water of Faisalabad goes into River Ravi and Chenab.

In Rawalpindi 96 mg effluent and 162 mg from Gujranwala are poured into rivers untreated.   The Commission said that six treatment plants would be installed in Lahore at different places and they would become functional in three to four year time. She said one plant of Mehmood Booti would cost Rs. 9 billion. PCI of the project was under way, she further said. At this, the CJP got angry to hear this and remarked that who would wait till three years. No, one sure either they would gain power again, he remarked.

The Chief Justice ordered the Punjab government to submit PC-I of clear water project in the court by March 23. The court also demanded all data to be ‘on record’ and adjourned till March 31.