KARACHI - The Supreme Court-mandated commission on water and sanitation Monday summoned defence secretary for June 4 to explain releasing of sewage water into sea.

The commission headed by Justice retired Amir Hani Muslim issued direction to the Cantonment Board Clifton(CBC) to restrain the restaurants at Sea View to drain untreated sewerage water into sea.

Justice Amir Hani Muslim, however showed some flexibility when directed defence secretary to appear either himself for nominee of any of his subordinate, not below the rank of joint secretary with authority to make statement on behalf of ministry.

The commission apparently was not satisfied with undertaking, which was submitted by defence secretary in the last hearing. After hearing the additional attorney, Secretary DHA, CEO CBC, the petitioner and focal person, the commission was of the view that in absence of defence secretary or any of his nominee, the issues of sewerage of waste water and distribution of water can be resolved for various reasons.

The commission observed that there are serious problems of sewerage discharge and there are multiple problems of distribution of drinking water. Managing Director (KW&SB) stated in the commission that it is not easier for them to regulate the supply of various cantonments and other installations. In such a situation, the intervention of ministry is required, MD added.

Commission directed DHA that not a single drop of untreated sewerage water should be drained in to sea by restaurants located on the sea view. They should lift this untreated sewerage water from the septic tanks of the restaurants through bowsers at their coast and the same should only be discharged through treatment plant of phase III. “This shall start immediately and in case any restaurant fails to do so, it should be restrained from functioning forthwith”, commission directed

It also ordered DHA that this arrangement should be temporary and in the intervening period, the DHA should connect sewerage lines of all such restaurants with the regular sewerage lines of phase VI. “Two months this is granted to DHA for connecting the sewerage lines of the restaurants function on the Sea View with phase VIII and should submit the compliance report”. Justice retired Hani Muslim directed.

On K-IV Karachi Water Project, commission noted that things need to be expedited as far as project is concerned. The components, which need to be installed and were missing in PC-I should be processed through independents PCs as per the rules, it added,

Commission also ordered for expediting the world on power plant, which is one of the most significant factors for making the project functional.

During the proceedings, Mayor Karachi, Waseem Akhtar told the commission betterment charges of Water Board and Karachi Muncipla Corporation (KMC) have not been released.  He said that despite the regular directives, DG Sindh Board Control Authority (SBCA) willfully avoided compliance.

Commission directed DG SBCA to appear in the commission with the cheques of betterment charges and stated that this amount would be utilized only for essential services like sanitation, clean water supply, fire fighting or equipment for sanitation and nor for any other purpose.