ISLAMABAD - The Supreme Court on Thursday sought a comprehensive report from the Ministry of Petroleum and the Director General Petroleum Consortium (PC) regarding not spending the development funds in areas from where the oil and gas being extracted.

A Division Bench comprising Justice Jawwad S Khawaja and Justice Ejaz Afzal was hearing a suo moto on non-spending of funds for the development of oil and gas companies project areas.

The court directed DG Petroleum Consortium to inform about those officers who were creating hurdles in development of those areas so that the court could take action against them. The court ordered him to file a separate report regarding not spending development funds in district Harnai of Balochistan province.

The court was informed that oil and gas companies have given $6 million to ministry.

Justice Jawwad remarked it was a huge amount, if spent on the development of those areas from where the gas and oil is being extracted the destiny of those areas would have changed. He said they have asked the DG PC to take action against those who were not complying the court order. The companies had provided the funds but the government was not ready to launch development projects in those areas. It seemed the Supreme Court has to perform the functions of Nepra, Ogra, NAB and other institutions.

He said people are dying due to drinking Manchar Lake polluted water, but no one is bothered about.

Khawaja Farooq, counsel of Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas, appearing before the bench, informed that some companies have paid funds, while others still have to pay, therefore, the ministry has issued notices to them.

He said under the law the provincial government was empowered to use these funds, therefore, the federal government was not interfering. Justice Jawwad upon that said the court has passed order in this regard.

Justice Khawaja asked the DG Petroleum Consortium to give the names of those persons who are creating hurdles in the development of the areas and submit detail report about it.

The DG PC informed that 20 more licences have been issued due to that their work has increased. He said the roads repairing work in district Sanghar would start within one month and hoped that it would be completed in six months.

A resident of district Ghotki Roshan Ali informed the court that in his district even 1 km road could not be constructed in 19 years. He through his application informed the court that there are 32 villages in the allocated area of Gas Field, but its residents were given only 15 persons job in the company. “Only nine villages were provided gas and that from the provincial quota,” Roshan added. The hearing was adjourned till 24th March.