KARACHI: The Supreme Court (SC) directed on Friday the federal and provincial governments to ensure that the Greater Karachi Sewage Treatment Plant, commonly known as the S-III project, is completed as soon as possible to control the growing contamination of seawater.
Chief Justice Anwar Zaheer Jamali, who headed the two-judge bench at the SC’s Karachi Registry, passed this directive while hearing a 24-year-old case regarding growing environmental pollution in the coastal areas due to discharge of poisoned industrial waste into the sea.
Taking up the matter, the bench, which also comprised Justice Amir Hani Muslim, expressed its concern over the delays on the part of the federal and provincial authorities in tackling the issue.
The chief justice (CJ) observed that the case was pending before the court since 1992 but the federal as well as the provincial government was doing nothing to fix the problem.
He further observed that all the relevant departments are blaming each other for the delay in adopting preventive measures while the citizens are forced to face the consequences.
CJ Jamali noted that the relevant authorities were not even resolving the issues involving the public interest at large.
Sindh chief secretary Muhammad Siddique Memon, who was summoned in person at the previous hearing, informed the court that the provincial government had redesigned the project and sent it to the federal government for approval. He added that the relevant committee will examine the design and then forward it to the prime minister for the final approval.
The country’s top judge remarked that the issue was being discussed on paper for the last 24 years while the citizens were compelled to drink filthy water. In most of Karachi, citizens are receiving drinking water mixed with sewage, he added.
The bench directed the relevant federal and provincial authorities to ensure the S-III project is completed at the earliest.
The hearing was then adjourned for a date to be later notified by the court office.
Published in The Express Tribune, September 10th, 2016.
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