LAHORE - Chief Justice Lahore High Court Khawaja Muhammad Sharif has directed Managing Director WASA to appear in the court on August 17 to reply why WASA did not utilise funds given to it by the Punjab Government for supply of arsenic free clean drinking water to Lahorites. In the court petitioners Mutten-ul-Haq advocate and Muhammad Sohail Dar advocate stated that Punjab government gave funds to WASA for providing clean drinking water to people but those funds were not used and the same were lapsed due to the negligence on WASA authorities. They showed high concerns that due to polluted drinking water people of Lahore were suffering from hepatitis and other deadly diseases while now WASAs tubwells had started pumping out arsenic contaminated water, which was a new threat to lives of the citizens using such water. The CJ was hearing a suo motu taken on June 28 on a report published in a newspaper that 168 tubewells of WASAs were pumping out arsenic contaminated water and same was being consumed by Lahorites. Later, Mutten-ul-Haq advocate and Muhammad Sohail Dar advocate also sought permission to be party in the suo motu. On Wednesday, Abdul Hameed DMD Admin WASA appearing before the court submitted a report, which confirmed that water of some of its tubewells contained arsenic chemical over WHO permissible limits. Report said 466 water samples were analysed to confirm presence of arsenic in water of WASAs tubewells. The water samples were tested at the state of the art laboratory of the University of Engineering and Technology (UET) on WASAs request to confirm whether its tubewells contained arsenic or not. The UET lab found that water samples of 20 tubewells of WASA contained arsenic chemical above 50pph which is 40 times higher than the WHO permissible limit of 10pph. The result of 280 samples were found within WHOs permissible limit while 186 samples contained arsenic above level of 10pph limit which is dangerous according to WHO. However, the WASA report claimed that permissible for arsenic for India and Bangladesh is 50pph so it was not dangerous if arsenic level was below 50pph. In the report it was said that WASA had sent results of samples to CG&CD department with recommendation to install arsenic removal filtration plants under the Clean Drinking Water For All (CDWA) Project in City to ensure supply of clean water for citizens. When DMD Admin WASA was asked about the funds it got from the Punjab government he said only the WASAs Managing Director could give correct reply to the inquiry about utilisation of funds. He said MD WASA could not appear in the court due to some engagement. Upon this, the CJ directed MD WASA to appear in the court on August 17 to answer why he did not utilise funds for provision of clean drinking water in Lahore and the funds got lapse due to negligence. Jamaluddin Jamali