Judicial commission comes down hard on Nawabshah hospital authorities

Non-availability of drinking water at hospital irks Justice (retd) Amir Hani Muslim

Our Correspondent July 31, 2018
Commission remarked that patients were dying at the Nawabshah hospital due to drinking polluted water.PHOTO: FILE

KARACHI: The Supreme Court-mandated Judicial Commission on Water and Sanitation sought on Monday a report from the additional finance secretary on irregularities in a hospital in Nawabshah.

The commission's head, Justice (retd) Amir Hani Muslim, also directed the Shaheed Benazirabad deputy commissioner to send water sample of wards to its registrar.

During Monday's proceedings, the commission asked the hospital superintendent (MS) how much funds were released for the hospital and where they had been spent. The MS informed the commission that items worth Rs300 million were imported for the hospital.

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The commission expressed wonder at the expenditure of Rs860 million in two days. It asked the hospital's administration to produce original receipts.

You are importing machinery while there is no drinking water at the hospital, Justice (retd) Muslim said. The commission was informed that filters had been installed at the hospital but they were not replaced on time.

Justice (retd) Muslim asked the hospital authorities for whom they were importing machinery. The authorities replied that the machinery was being imported for patients, prompting the commission to remark that patients were dying at the hospital due to drinking polluted water.

Some people are playing with human lives, Justice (retd) Muslim observed. He added that many diseases like hepatitis had been spreading because of the consumption of polluted water.

The MS also informed the commission that water worth Rs20 million was annually purchased for the hospital. The commission head, however, was not impressed by it. He remarked that water perhaps was being used by doctors only as patients were not apparently using it.

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The company supplying water at the hospital is not apparently registered with the Pakistan Standard and Quality Control Authority (PSQCA), Justice (retd) Muslim said, asking whether such company could supply water to a hospital. The commission ordered a PSQCA representative to appear before it on August 2.

Cantonment Faisal Board representatives also appeared before the commission. They shared their apprehension that the Karachi Water and Sewerage Board (KWSB) may suspend water supply to the cantonment board. The commission was informed that the KWSB was demanding the payment of bills amounting to Rs60 billion and threatening to stop water supply in case of non-payment.

It was claimed by the cantonment board that there were no outstanding dues on the board and that it paid its bills regularly. The judicial commission assured the cantonment board that its water supply would not be disrupted if there were no outstanding dues on it.

The commission directed the KWSB and cantonment board to sit together to resolve the payment issue.


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