KARACHI - The Supreme Court-appointed Sindh Water Commission on Monday sought an affidavit from the defence secretary for installation of waste water treatment plants in Defence Housing Authority (DHA) and Clifton Cantonment Board (CBC) and directed Additional Attorney General to submit it with the commission within a week.

One-man judicial commission headed by former Justice Amir Hani Muslim also directed CBC to ensure installation of waste water treatment plant by December this year and asked Secretary Defence to ensure installation of treatment plant in Phase-8 of DHA within four months.

The defence secretary didn’t turn up in the proceedings of the commission as it was informed the former had gone abroad. “Additional Secretary comes next in the hierarchy of the ministry,” the DHA’s Joint Secretary told the commission. He further said he has been directed to appear in the proceedings. Commission asked him to give in writing who directed him to appear in the proceedings.

Additional Attorney General Salman Talibuddin told the commission that DHA and Cantonment Board Clifton (CBC) are shifting the blame on each other over outfall of sewerage water into the sea. However, CBC’s representative contested any dispute between cantonment board and DHA, saying that CBC had already begun work on the treatment plant of waste water and assured to complete the task vis-à-vis draining of untreated sewerage water into the sea.

Additional Attorney General told the commission that three out of four points have been plugged, from where the sewerage water is allowed to outfall into the sea untreated. Commission also asked Additional Attorney General (AAG) about any point at the beach, which is not polluted with the waste water, and people can visit it. Upon which AAG admitted there is not such place.

The commission directed AAG to assure it in writing with Defence Secretary’s signature that waste water would not be drained into the sea. The AAG assured the commission that it would be ensured within seven to eight months that waste water would not be drained into sea, after the treatment plants would be installed and made functional.

The commission also took up the issue of sale of water in DHA and CBC and remarked why they have launched new schemes when they couldn’t provide water to existing schemes. It gave one week time to CBC and DHA to come up with the workable suggestions to overcome water scarcity in their jurisdictions.  The commission also directed for uninterrupted water supply to residents of Baldia Town Karachi and remarked why Rangers are running a hydrant in Baldia Town and under which law they are allowed to do so. The commission also took up the issue of solar lights powered by solar energy in Sindh and sought the details of this project from National Accountability Bureau (NAB), which is holding inquiry into the project.

It summoned Deputy Commissioner Malir (Karachi) to appear in the commission with all the relevant record as it took up the realignments in K-IV water supply project, which are allegedly made to benefit Bahria Town Karachi. The consultant company of K-IV project submitted a detailed report about realignments in the project and informed that these changes have been made on the instructions of former project director Saleem Siddiqui. The commission ordered that Saleem Siddiqui should appear in the court personally to explain why the realignments were made in the project.