CDGL, who said you could fund laptop functions?


The Lahore High Court on Thursday sought an explanation before May 25, from the City District Government Lahore (CDGL) over providing funds for the laptop distribution ceremony held at the Punjab University on March 23.
Justice Umar Ata Bandial passed the order on a plea filed by Nazir Ahmad challenging the use of Punjab University funds for the laptop distribution ceremony.
Earlier, the Punjab University’s counsel appeared before the court and submitted that Rs 16.1 million was spent on the laptop distribution ceremony held at the PU Quaid-e-Azam campus on March 23.
The counsel added that the amount was to be paid by the CDGL.
However, the petitioner’s counsel Aftab Ahmad Bajwa criticised the CDGL’s move to pay the amount and said public money was being utilised for Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz’s political activities. The court agreed with petitioner’s counsel and observed that it would not allow the use of public money for political activities.
The court, after hearing the arguments, sought a reply from the CDGL. The petitioner, in his petition, submitted that the PU vice-chancellor sanctioned a supplementary grant of Rs 30 million on account of arranging the laptop distribution ceremony, without permission of the PU syndicate.
He submitted that the VC arranged the function to oblige Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif and PML-N President Nawaz Sharif by inviting them as chief guests. It is pertinent to mention here that the court barred the use of Punjab University’s funds for the laptop distribution ceremony, in its last hearing.
notice issued to WASA over discharge of wastewater into River Ravi: The LHC Green bench, comprising of Justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah issued a notice on Thursday to Water and Sanitation Agency (WASA) Irrigation Department secretary and the Environment Protection Agency (EPA) for April 27th in a petition seeking directions to end the discharge of untreated wastewater into the River Ravi.
The bench also summoned an officer responsible from the WASA irrigation department and the EPA on the next hearing date to explain why Ravi is being used as a refuse dump.
This was the first case that the Green Bench heard after it was formed as part of the judiciary’s efforts to protect the environment.
The bench passed these orders on a petition filed by the Public interest Litigation Association of Pakistan.
The petitioner’s counsel submitted that untreated domestic and industrial waste was being dumped in the Ravi, resulting in a high level of impurities in the water. He said nearly 48 percent of the overall polluted water that is discharged into the River Indus comes from the River Ravi.
He added that the Ravi has been reduced to becoming a sludge carrier.
The pollution had led to the extinction of 42 species of fish, the counsel said, adding that the wastewater discharged into the Ravi flowed to the Balloki head-works from where it ended up as irrigation water for crops in southern Punjab.
The counsel stated that this had resulted in high rates of waterborne diseases in Pakistan. “UNICEF estimates that 20-40 percent of Pakistanis in hospitals today are there because of water borne disease,” he added.
He contended that the dumping of pollutants in the river affected water and food quality and hence human health. He requested the court to direct the Punjab government, WASA and EPA to take immediate remedial action. The bench after hearing the arguments issued a notice and sought a reply by April 27.