Chances of contamination: Court gives water board last chance to explain tests of potable water

Published: February 24, 2015
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The order came on a petition filed by civil rights campaigner, Rana Faizul Hasan, who claimed that the water utility is supplying its consumers contaminated water.  PHOTO: EXPRESS

The order came on a petition filed by civil rights campaigner, Rana Faizul Hasan, who claimed that the water utility is supplying its consumers contaminated water. PHOTO: EXPRESS

KARACHI: The Sindh High Court (SHC) gave on Monday the Karachi Water and Sewerage Board (KWSB) a last chance to submit a detailed report on the test of potable water being supplied to the consumers. A division bench also warned that failure to submit the report by March 30 will expose the delinquent officers to contempt of court proceedings.

The order came on a petition filed by civil rights campaigner, Rana Faizul Hasan, who claimed that the water utility is supplying its consumers contaminated water. The petitioner claimed that industrial effluent being discharged near Kotri Barrage was contaminating the water reservoir at Keenjhar Lake, a major source of water supply to the city.

The Karachi Metropolitan Corporation’s health department lacks proper equipment to check the level of contamination in tap water, he said, adding that the civic agencies are bound to provide clean and potable water after filtration to the citizens. He pleaded the court direct the respondents to ensure supply of clean and hygienic water to the city.

Hearing the plea on January 30, the judges had rejected a report filed by the KWSB because it lacked the names of the laboratories where water samples were claimed to have been tested. They had instructed the water board to furnish a fresh report mentioning the supply of clean water and its tests by the laboratories. Three weeks were given for compliance.

During Monday’s proceedings, the two judges noticed that the order passed on September 19, 2013, and later on January 30 has yet to be complied with. KWSB’s lawyer Mehmood Yousufi, who appeared with water board’s chief chemist Shahbaz Iqbal, requested for another chance.

“Last and final opportunity is granted to the KWSB to do the needful before the next date of hearing, failing which the delinquent officer(s) shall expose themselves to the contempt of court proceedings,” ordered the judges. The next hearing is on March 10.

Published in The Express Tribune, February 24th, 2015.

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