- Justice Nisar says tubewell owners are acquiring water for free, selling it to residents
ISLAMABAD: Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Mian Saqib Nisar on Friday said that tubewell owners in the federal capital are acquiring water for free and selling it to residents, gaining money and causing frequent water shortages.
He said this during the hearing of the suo motu notice of water shortage, for which eight alleged tubewell owners, additional attorney general and Metropolitan Corporation Islamabad (MCI) officials were present in the court.
One of the eight suspects, Zamrud Khan, informed the court that there was an abundance of tubewells all across the Cantonment which were the cause of the water shortage, adding that he owned none of them.
Zamrud also requested the court to ensure the supply of water via alternate channels before shutting down the tube wells. He said that the Cantonment Board and Capital Development Authority (CDA) had declined to work as a team over the matter.
However, the CJP, while negating his claim, said that the water shortage was primarily the tubewell owners’ doing.
Furthermore, an MCI representative informed the court that taxes would be imposed on the use of tubewells after 15 days.
Justice Nisar then directed the CDA, MCI and Cantonment Board to submit details on all tube wells in the capital, besides seeking a reply from the executive office of Rawalpindi Cantonment Board and Water and Sanitation Authority’s (WASA) managing director over the whole issue within 10 days.
On Wednesday, the country’s top reprimanded the previous government for failing to prioritise water issues, leading to water scarcity.
Justice Nisar had taken a suo motu notice of the water crisis in the country on Monday, saying that it would be the Supreme Court’s “top priority” in the weeks ahead. He had added that the court will hear cases regarding water shortage across the country.
“What have we done for our children if we can’t even provide them water?” he had said.
The SC heard cases regarding water shortage in the capital on Thursday. The apex court’s Karachi and Lahore registries will hold hearings on June 9 and 10, respectively. The chief justice will also hear cases related to water issues in the Peshawar and Quetta registries.