Lahore High Court chief justice Umar Ata Bandial on Friday remarked that the country was facing the worst crisis of water and electricity and if there were differences among the provinces on the construction of Kalabagh Dam, the federal government should raise the issue in the Council of Common Interest (CCI) and address their concerns.
The court granted another opportunity to the federal government to submit its reply on a petition seeking directions for construction of KBD to overcome ongoing electricity crisis. The court adjourned the hearing till August 30.
Advocate Syed Feroze Shah Gillani filed the petition and quoted former caretaker chief minister of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Wapda ex-chairman Shamsul Mulk having on October 9, 2010 that the KBD was not an issue of Punjab alone but a matter of the country’s survival that was at stake due to fast depleting water resources.
The petitioner said the KP had suffered the most due to delay in construction of the KBD as, even after completion of Bhasha Dam, the province would continue to be deprived of additional water because it would be 50 feet below D.I Khan where 8,00,000 acres of available agricultural land could not be irrigated economically. If the KBD was built water would be available for vast tracts of land in the KP at affordable price because the water level would be high enough to irrigate the farms, he added.
He said the purpose of the CCI was to iron out differences, problems and irritants between the provinces and the provinces and the federation, therefore, direction be issued to the government that the CCI be convened in accordance with law to decide and control the KBD project.
On the previous hearing, the Water and Power Development Authority had submitted a report in the LHC that the objections and apprehensions of three provinces against construction of Kalabagh Dam were baseless and were based on lack of information and hearsay knowledge.
However, the provincial assemblies of NWFP (now Khyber Pakhtunkhwa), Balochistan and Sindh had passed unanimous resolutions against the construction of the dam in December 1988, October 1994 and June 1994, respectively.
custody: An additional district and sessions court on Friday handed over two children to their mother after recovering them from the illegal custody of their father.
As per details, Tahira Bibi, a resident of Shahdara, had filed a habeas corpus petition in the court, alleging that her husband, Muhammad Rafique, had detained her four-year old daughter, Romaisa, and two years old son Sajid illegally. She contended that she had bitter wedlock due to which scuffle on domestic issues was a routine.