The Peshawar High Court (PHC) on Wednesday directed the provincial government to remove encroachments around Shahi Katta and restore the city’s main drainage canal, which carries a major part of the city’s waste, to its original shape within 30 days.
While hearing other petitions pertaining to environmental pollution, the court directed officials of the irrigation department to block sewerage lines carrying contaminated water into city drains immediately, as these drains are later used for cultivation purposes. The orders were issued by a green bench comprising PHC Chief Justice Dost Muhammad Khan and Justice Irshad Qaisar.
The bench also directed the revenue department to collect information on Shahi Katta’s pre-partition condition following local government secretary Syed Bacha‘s claim that the encroached land around the drain was being retrieved.
Bacha said the recovery drive could not be completed due to roads and shops that had been constructed at several points. He added the government had demanded Rs4 million for the drive, but required further time.
The bench observed government departments would now have to clear 60 years worth of construction as officials had failed to perform their obligations in the past. The bench ordered the process be completed within the next 30 days.
Meanwhile, the court directed the irrigation department to submit the PC-1 (project cycle form) of a project which plans to carry sewerage water into a massive tank outside the city before the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa chief secretary within 15 days. The court also observed funds for the project should be allocated immediately and tender should be awarded to a well-reputed company.
Meanwhile, the court refused to accept a petition filed following an inspection by Environmental Protection Agency officers which fixed criminal liability against the owners of a check-board manufacturing company in Hayatabad Industrial Estate.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 16th, 2013.