KARACHI: The judicial commission directed on Saturday the Sindh Rangers to carry out a survey to identify areas for establishing check-posts to control sand-lifting from the bed of Malir river.
Justice Muhammad Iqbal Kalhoro of the Sindh High Court (SHC), who headed the commission formed by the Supreme Court to investigate allegations of non-supply of clean drinking water and deteriorating sanitation conditions in Sindh, ordered the Rangers law officer to carry out the exercise by May 13.
On Saturday, the Rangers' law officer and provincial deputy home secretary appeared before the commission in response to notices issued to them on April 22.
On the last hearing, the East DIG had requested that the commission direct the Rangers to establish pickets to monitor sand-lifting from the Malir River bed.
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The Rangers law officer said the paramilitary force is working under the supervision of the home department. The officer said a survey of the area was needed to determine the feasibility, financial impact and other related issues for establishing pickets there.
The commission directed that such an exercise should be undertaken and a report be submitted on May 13. It also issued a notice to the provincial mines and minerals department secretary to file a report by for May 13.
The commission observed that while the Sukkur district and sessions judge had reported service of the commission's notice to the Sukkur Electric Power Company (Sepco) chief executive officer, no one had appeared and no intimation was received, 'which is a sheer disregard and disobedience on behalf of the Sepco CEO [towards] the commission proceedings'.
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The commission issued bailable warrants for the arrest of the Sepco CEO to be executed through the Sukkur SSP, for his appearance before the commission on May 13.
The federal secretary for the planning and development department, Shoaib Siddiqui, apprised the commission on the federal government's stance on the issue of the Right Bank Outfall Drain (RBOD), S-III and CTP projects.
The chairperson of the planning and development board and provincial advocate-general made submissions on behalf of the Sindh government. Both the federal and provincial governments took contrary stances regarding the financial liability of these projects but agreed to hold a meeting on May 11 to find an amicable solution to the problem. They also agreed that the outcome of the meeting will be placed before the commission on May 20 for further orders.
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In compliance with the commission's April 22 order, the executive engineer of the Kalri Baghar, Aijaz Ahmed Qureshi, informed the court of a short-term scheme regarding treatment of industrial effluent at Darya Khan Pumping Station.
The commission supplied a copy of the scheme to the chairperson of the Supreme Court-appointed task force as well as the representatives of the public health engineering department with a direction to file their comments and report.
Justice Kalhoro directed them to submit a detailed report on this short-term scheme on or before May 20 for further orders.
The task force's chairperson filed a third report in compliance with the commission's directives.
Dr Ghulam Murtaza, a senior research officer at the Pakistan Council of Research in Water Resources, filed a summary report on the capacity building training of laboratory staff of the Karachi Water and Sewerage Board (KWSB) on water sampling and testing.
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The Karachi Metropolitan Corporation commissioner filed a report regarding the area of Treatment Plant-II, Mehmoodabad. The medical superintendent of Liaquat University Hospital, Hyderabad, also filed a statement regarding hospital waste management.
The medical superintendents of Civil Hospital, Karachi, and Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto Medical University Hospital, Larkana, and the executive directors of Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre and National Institute of Cardiovascular Diseases filed reports regarding implementation of the Hospital Waste Management Rules, 2014, and potable water in the hospitals. However, they sought a week's time to submit a detailed report.
The health department's deputy secretary of litigation also filed a report regarding implementation of the Hospital Waste Management Rules, 2014 in Sindh's hospitals.
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KWSB's managing-director filed a progress report up to May 4. The commission directed him to file a report up to May 13 on the progress of Treatment Plant-I and Treatment Plant-II as to whether the same had been made functional in light of the orders of the SC.
The Water and Sanitation Authority managing-director filed a statement regarding filtration of water and its supply in Hyderabad. According to him, two chlorinators had been installed in the water filtration plant on Jamshoro Road and the laboratory of the said plant had been made functional.
The commission adjourned the hearing till May 20.
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