SC asks federal, provincial govts to explain water plan

Islamabad: The Supreme Court on Monday sought details of mechanism devised by the federal and provincial governments for preservation of ground water and measures to prevent its exploitation. Hearing a suo motu case regarding ground water exploitation by mineral water companies at the apex court, Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar said mineral water companies were using ground water, but the government didn’t move to fix them. Justice Nisar said water would be as scarce in near future as it won’t be available on even gold rates. He also called upon industrialists to adopt mechanism for recycling used water. Advocate general Punjab, who was present in the court, said a summary had been forwarded to the prime minister and the cabinet for approval regarding water policy. Justice Ejazul Hasan remarked that the court had also ordered recycling of water. ‘The law commission has prepared a good recommendation report in this regard, but the government doesn’t appear to implementing it,’ said the chief justice. He stated that the matter is usually forwarded to chief minister or chief justice and consequently sub committees are formed for examination. “Hence, the issue gets confined to paperwork.” He reprimanded the government, saying ‘they neither have an intent nor ability to work on the issue.” The CJP said water level had reached an alarming level in Quetta, and soon people would start migration from the city. On Jan 13, the apex court had imposed a levy on companies selling mineral water and beverages at a rate of Re 1 for every liter of surface water extracted by them.