SC dismisses appeals of water hydrant owners; orders action against illegal hydrants

  • Sindh CM says determined to resolve contaminated water issue


KARACHI: Dismissing appeals filed by 24 owners of water hydrants, Supreme Court of Pakistan (SCP) on Thursday ruled that all illegal water hydrants will remain closed irrespective of whether the water is sweet or bitter.

The SCP directed the Karachi Water and Sewerage Board (KWSB) MD to take action against illegal water hydrants.

While hearing the appeals in Supreme Court Karachi registry, Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar remarked that water theft in the Sindh’s provincial capital was not tolerable. He directed the KWSB MD to provide in writing that action will be taken against those officers who work within the limits of hydrants.

The apex court dismissed the appeals filed by 24 owners of water hydrants, ruling that all illegal water hydrants will remain closed irrespective of whether the water is sweet or bitter.

Sindh Advocate General stated that the hydrants will provide revenue worth Rs10-80 million to the water board to which Justice Nisar asked why he was taking credit of the issue when the top court had taken the notice initially.

Talking to media after the court hearing, the MD said that he will submit the affidavits in court. According to him, 137 cases have been filed after the closure of 187 illegal hydrants. The court has also directed him to cut the illegal connections in factories.

Earlier, Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah said that he has been directed to resolve the issue of contaminated water all over Sindh.

He said this while speaking to the media during his visit to Jahangir Park on Wednesday evening. He was accompanied by Local Government Minister Jam Khan Shoro and Senator Murtaza Wahab.

“As a chief minister I am exempt from appearing before the court but, I thought the Supreme Court was working hard to resolve the issue of contaminated water in Sindh and it is the issue of our people, therefore I must appear before it,” he said, adding that the SC had set a direction to solve the issue of contaminated water and hoped it would be resolved in the minimum time period.

He said that he has identified 726 major points all over Sindh from where domestic waste and effluent is released into distributaries and canals. “We have made schemes for installing treatment plants to treat domestic waste and effluent before releasing it into the water bodies and this will cost Rs3.59 billion,” he said, adding that in the first phase treatment work would be started at 221 points at a cost of Rs800 million, for which he has allocated Rs400 million.

The CM said that water testing laboratories are being established in 23 districts for which he has approved an amount of Rs105 million. He added that there were 953 non-functional water supply and RO plant schemes. “I have approved an amount of Rs4.9 billion to make them functional and work on most of the schemes has been started,” he said.

Shah said he told the Supreme Court that a drainage scheme for Shikarpur city was in full swing. The drainage system in Shikarpur has improved considerably, he said, adding that another Rs1.41 billion drainage scheme was also underway.

A similar scheme was also in progress in Mirpurkhas, he said. “We are working hard to stop the release of wastewater, industrial waste and effluent into canals but it would take some time to resolve the issue properly because a lot of funds are required for the purpose,” said Shah.

The CM assured that his government was committed to resolving the contaminated water issue for which work with sincerity and commitment was in progress.