LAHORE: Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif on Sunday appeared before the Supreme Court of Pakistan in the issue of the clean drinking water availability in Punjab province.
He sought three weeks to submit a comprehensive plan to address the issue of drainage of polluted water in the provincial capital of Punjab.
Headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar, the three-judge bench, was hearing a suo motu case regarding provision of unclean drinking water to the people of the province.
The chief minister appeared before the bench in response to its summons.
At the outset, he said that he respected the judiciary and was among those who struggled for its independence.
On this, the chief justice asked him why he didn’t advise his party in this regard.
On a lighter note, Shahbaz said “Why are you after my job” triggering gales of laughter in the courtroom.
When asked about measures he had taken to address the issue of polluted water, the chief minister sought three weeks to submit a comprehensive plan to address the issues of provision of potable water and treatment of sewage.
“You have been in power for the last ten years, yet we have to take notice over issues,” observed the CJP .
On Saturday, the bench expressed dissatisfaction over a report by the Punjab government with regard to drainage of polluted water into Ravi River and summoned the chief minister to explain the situation at 11am today.
Advocate Ayesha Hamid submitted the report, stating that 540 million gallons of polluted water was being dumped into the river.
Irked by the findings of the report, the chief justice remarked that if Lahore, which is the heart of Pakistan, was being meted out such treatment, then the situation of other cities can be imagined.
“If the Sindh chief minister can appear in the court, why not the Punjab CM,” the chief justice remarked.
At the previous hearing, the chief justice asked the Punjab chief secretary to explain where hefty amount earmarked for provision of potable water was being spent.
According to a report submitted by the Pakistan Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (PCSIR), water samples collected from the chief justice’s chamber were found to be contaminated.
CJP Nisar threatened to issue a stay order against the Punjab government’s Orange Line Metro Train project, if it didn’t improve healthcare and educational facilities.