LAHORE - Chief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar on Thursday expressed serious concern over the use of steroid in milk and chicken production, observing that “we won’t allow anyone to ‘poison’ our generations”.

Hearing a petition moved by Barrister Zafarullah Khan against adulterated, powder and packed milk at the Supreme Court Lahore registry yesterday, the CJP remarked that “no milk producing companies will be allowed to play with the life of the people”.

“We’re constitutionally bound to protect the rights of the people wherein right to life is paramount – which appears to be at stake through the use of substandard and adulterated milk,” he further remarked.

The chief justice also expressed serious annoyance over the sale of low quality and substandard cooking oil that he said was as bad as poison to the people – which the manufacturing were selling freely.

CJP Nisar directed the milk producing companies to stop deceiving public and clearly mention on their tea-whiteners that “it is not milk”. “We’ll not let anyone deceive the public.”

The court also directed the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra) to strictly monitor advertisement of these products and ensure that people are not mislead.

He also shared his personal experience that he had abandoned use of the powder-milk after his Hakeem (herbalist) advised him to stay away from it.

Punjab Chief Secretary Zahid Saeed, Punjab Food Authority Director General Noorul Amin Mengal and other officials were present in the court.

PFA DG informed the court that the milk-safety teams had been made to check samples of loose [unpackaged] and packed milk on regular basis.

The CJP also expressed serious concern over use of steroids in chicken and milk production which is causing diseases.

The DG said that they had banned use of steroid injection that was used to boost milk production in cows and buffalos, and cancelled the licences of the manufacturers.

Noorul Amin Mengal also informed the court that how these products had been harming peoples’ health. He informed the court that they had been receiving complaints about hormonal imbalance among young girls in particular.

The officer, however, expressed his failure to tackle this issue saying that manufacturing companies often get stay orders from the courts against their orders.

He said provision of pure milk was not possible until the sale of loose milk, which is sold by milkmen in metal and plastic containers, was barred. The DG said legislation had been made for pasteurisation of milk and banning the sale of loose milk.

The court issued notices to seven tea-whitener and milk manufacturing companies – including Shakarganj foods, Haleeb and Dalda foods –, besides two steroid manufacturing companies – ICI Pharmaceutical and Ghazi Brothers. The court directed these companies to come up with their replies on the next hearing.

Contaminated Water

Holding proceedings on a suo motu case against contaminated water and substandard bottled water, Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar expressed dismay over the water situation in the city.

He ordered Water and Sanitation Agency (Wasa) Managing Director Dr Javed Iqbal to present an analysis report after taking water samples from all tube wells of the provincial capital.

The bench ordered Punjab chief secretary to submit a detailed report about budget of Punjab Saaf Pani Company.

The chief justice observed that the court would not hold political leadership wholly responsible for the wrongs but also take the bureaucracy to task. However, he encouraged the officials to do their best for the larger public interest and adjourned further hearing until Dec 30 (Saturday).

Clinical Waste Challenge

Punjab Specialized Healthcare Secretary Najam Hassan Shah told the Supreme Court on Thursday that clinical waste had become a big challenge in Lahore and expressed his helpless in controlling the private medical hospitals in this regard.

He appeared before a two-member bench headed by Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar at the Lahore registry. Justice Ijazul Ahsan was the other member.

The CJP observed that “the government had better reduced one coach of Orange Line Metro Train to [spare funds for] dispose of hospital waste in Lahore”.

Najam said that everyday 11,000kg wastage of public sector hospitals is disposed of in the provincial capital. Of this, 2,000kg waste is disposed of by the department, while disposal of 9,000kg waste has been outsourced, he said.

Punjab Chief Secretary Zahid Saeed, Advocate General Punjab Shakilur Rehman, officials of various other departments were also present on the occasion.

Najam Shah said he was trying to build three units in the city. The chief justice asked him if he was satisfied with the performance of his department and remarked that “we want absolute [provision of] health facilities”.

“Have you ever visited Mozang area and saw that how quacks treat the pregnant women there?” the CJP asked him.

Justice Ijazul Ahsan asked him that what did they do with the private hospitals.

On it, the secretary replied healthcare commission was established by the government. He however pleaded the court that he needed court’s support to deal with the hazardous issue of hospital waste.

He informed the court that 22 tons waste of public sector hospitals was disposed of throughout Punjab but Lahore was a big challenge as it houses the largest number of hospitals and clinics.

When asked that how they dispose of the hospital waste, he replied that ‘they had established 11 incinerators through which they treat the waste’. He informed the court that they were establishing three more units for it.