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December 6, 2017

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Completion of CETP, S-III projects: Judiciary will not compromise on right to life, property of citizens, says SC

Completion of CETP, S-III projects: Judiciary will not compromise on right to life, property of citizens, says SC

KARACHI: The Supreme Court on Tuesday directed the chief secretary Sindh to submit a comprehensive report on the installation and completion of treatment plants for disposal of industrial effluents as well S-III project for the disposal of sewage in Karachi.
Hearing identical petitions filed against environmental pollution in the city harbour and coastal areas and destruction of marine ecosystem due to the release of untreated industrial waste, an SC three-member bench, headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar, observed that it is the duty of the state to provide healthy life to its citizens and the judiciary will not compromise on the right to life and property of citizens guaranteed under the Constitution. The court observed that pollution-free environment is inevitable for healthy living.
The bench observed that the court will record an undertaking by the government officers for completion of the multi-billion CETP (Combined Effluent Treatment Plant) project for treating industrial effluents and rehabilitation of sewage treatment plants. It warned that no one from political or administrative side will be spared if found negligent in delaying the completion of the CETP and S-III projects.
The bench observed that the sea is highly polluted due to discharge of 450 MGD untreated industrial and domestic waste and no efforts were made to check this destruction of marine eco system. The court asked the advocate general Sindh about the steps taken to implement the court directives for installation of treatment plants for industrial and domestic effluents. Advocate General Sindh Zamir Ghumro submitted that ECNEC has approved five CETP for Karachi.
The court asked the chief secretary if any state will feel proud over its inability to supply potable water to it citizens adding that the judiciary will enforce the rights of citizens. It asked the chief secretary as to when the projects will be completed. Chief Secretary Memon said he will file a detailed report about the CETP.
About the rehabilitation of sewage treatment plants, he said plants in Maripur and SITE would be functional by June 2018, but the land of Mehmoodabad treatment plant has been allotted to displaced people. However, he said Sewerage Plant –IV is proposed to be installed soon.
The deputy attorney general submitted that the federal government has released funds for the completion of S-III project initiated in 2007 and it was to be completed by 2011. The cost of S-III project has increased from Rs.7.9 billion to Rs.36 billion, he said. The court directed the chief secretary to submit detailed reports regarding installation of different treatment projects by Dec 23.

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