KARACHI: Hearing a suo motu case pertaining to the provision of drinking water in Karachi’s Defence Housing Authority (DHA) area on Wednesday, the Supreme Court (SC) came down hard on the Cantonment Board Clifton (CBC) over its failure to provide clean drinking water to the residents in Karachi.
A three-member bench, led by Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Gulzar Ahmed and comprising Justice Sajjad Ali Shah and Justice Qazi Muhammad Amin Ahmed heard a case.
During the hearing, CBC chief executive officer (CEO) informed the bench that it relied on the Karachi Water and Sewerage Board (KWSB) for water supply.
“You say you rely on the Water Board, but are you aware of what happens at the water board? When an army major finds no water at his home, he goes and closes the water board. They even get water for their gardens. Let us see what happens when a major gets no water supply living in DHA,” remarked the top judge.
“Lines have been drawn. There are two pipelines: one remains dry while the other supplies water. People like us have been given the waterline with no supply, forcing us to buy water tankers,” he further remarked.
The court sought a detailed report on the matter from the KWSB within two weeks and directed CBC to appraise the bench on water requirements for the area’s residents.
Separately, the apex court on Wednesday issued a notice to Attorney General of Pakistan (AGP) Khalid Javed Khan after being irked by Cantonment Board Clifton (CBC) selling federal land.
A three-member bench led by CJP Gulzar, comprising Justice Sajjad Ali Shah and Justice Qazi Muhammad Amin Ahmed heard a case related to the P&T Colony in Karachi’s Gizri area.
The apex court questioned how the cantonment could sell land that belongs to the federal government and allow the building of a private housing society on it.
“In what capacity did the CBC allow a naval society on land owned by the federal government? How can the cantonment board sell land to a private owner? Is there no law in the country? Is nobody keeping track of the CBC? Is this why the land was allotted to Karsaz?” questioned the top judge.
The chief justice observed that the Delhi Colony, Punjab Colony and P&T Colony areas have deteriorated over the years. “After every second house there is a building compromising peoples’ privacy. We come to the city every two months and see a new 10-story building. They construct buildings but there is no water or electricity.”
“The P&T Colony has been turned into slums,” he remarked.
The top court observed that the P&T Colony has been built on federal land and does not qualify as private property, adding that private buildings cannot be constructed on cantonment land.
The bench issued a notice to the attorney general and ordered the removal of illegal construction from the P&T Colony and demolish buildings near the Gizri bridge.