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August 13, 2017



Report sought from hospitals on water quality, waste disposal

The judicial commission on water has issued notices to the directors of different hospitals providing medical treatment using nuclear medicine and radiation to submit detailed reports on water quality and disposal of infectious and nuclear waste.

Deputy Attorney General Asim Iqbal informed the judicial body on Saturday that he had sent notices to the directors of the Atomic Energy Medical Centre, the Karachi Institute of Radiotherapy and Nuclear Medicine and other relevant hospitals.

He said they were asked to appear before the commission for a preliminary meeting to tell the judicial body about the measures being taken for providing potable water at their respective hospitals and how they were disposing of infectious and nuclear waste.

The federal law officer said that every director was a no-show. Headed by Justice Mohammad Iqbal Kalhoro, the commission ordered the directors to submit a detailed report on water quality and disposal of infectious and nuclear waste.

Chief secretary’s focal person Saeed Qureshi said implementation of the master plan for controlling effluents being discharged in water bodies was discussed in a meeting and some outlines were drawn up, but he sought time to conduct another meeting to finalise the plan and submit it in the next hearing.

Pakistan Council of Research in Water Resources senior research officer of Dr Ghulam Murtaza said that no significant improvement in the quality of outlet effluents was observed because of ineffective biological activation and improper chemical doses.

The SITE managing director said the combined effluent treatment plants would be made functional within four to six weeks, as the laboratory to check outlet effluents was being established, after which all the parameters would be maintained as per international standards.

KS Mujahid Baloch told the commission that the Karachi Water & Sewerage Board (KWSB) had provided a parallel water distribution system to steal water in many areas of the metropolis. The judicial body directed the water board chief to comment on the accusation.

The industries secretary said he had prepared a list in accordance with the commission’s orders for categorising industries discharging harmful toxic effluents, and sought time to file a comprehensive report.

The public health engineering secretary said the PC-I for the transformer at the Shaheed Benazirabad treatment plant had been received by his department and they were being installed, adding that the plant would be made functional within two or three days.

The KWSB chief submitted a copy of the proposed bill regulating water hydrants and said that a copy had also been forwarded to the law department.

Additional Advocate General Ghulam Mustafa Mahesar said that after due scrutiny the proposed bill would be tabled in the Sindh Assembly within three weeks.

The judicial body also took notice on accumulated rainwater in different parts of the city. The local government secretary said he would look into the matter, ensuring that the accumulated water would be cleared out.

He said the relevant department had been directed to provide betterment charges to the KWSB and the Water and Sanitation Agency (Wasa) Hyderabad.

The WASA chief told the commission that the PC-I for a water rehabilitation system was turned down by the government due to financial constraints. The LG secretary said that due to approval of many water and drainage schemes the PC-I could not be approved, but he made the assurance that the requisite funds would be made available in the next annual development programme.

The section officer of the health department informed the judicial body that four incinerators had been fully rehabilitated while six more had been procured.

Regarding water supply schemes in the rural areas of the province, the public health engineering secretary said efforts were under way to resume all such schemes that had been rendered redundant, and sought time to submit a report.

On the request of the additional advocate general – since the advocate general is out of the city – the commission adjourned the matter of point of jurisdiction of the judicial body to initiate contempt proceedings against the chief secretary for not complying with the court’s directives. The issue will be taken up on August 26.