SC seeks report regarding effluent disposal in different cities

LAHORE: A three-member bench of the Supreme court on Saturday sought a report from the Punjab government regarding disposal of effluent of Gujranwala, Sialkot, Kasur and other cities.

The court also directed the government to provide details regarding provision of clean drinking water.

The apex court bench headed by Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar Saturday passed the orders while hearing a suo motu case regarding provision of clean drinking water, here at the Supreme Court Lahore Registry.

As the proceedings started, the Punjab chief secretary and other officials appeared before the bench and submitted reports regarding various samples obtained from the city at different water supply outlets.

The chief justice expressed his annoyance when it was revealed that the samples of water collected from his chamber were declared unsafe.

To which, the chief secretary pointed out that the sample collected from inlet supply of water to the Supreme Court Lahore Registry did not show presence of any chemical. He further briefed about the use of chlorine to handle the bacteria in water.

At this, the bench asked the chief secretary to provide a detailed report regarding provision of drinking water and disposal of effluent of different cities while adjourning the further hearing.

Meanwhile, the bench ordered tea whitener producing companies to write on the packaging that their product was not a substitute for milk.

The bench ordered companies to submit new packaging design carrying the warning within five days. The bench allowed companies one month time for adopting the new packaging.

During the hearing, a company’s counsel argued that their products were prepared from skimmed milk and their packaging stated that it was only suitable for tea.

However, the bench turned down his objections observing that it would be decided later while adjourning the further hearing.

Meanwhile, the bench restrained all courts from granting stay to marriage halls on action taken by the Lahore Development Authority (LDA) against them.

The bench ordered the LDA to issue notices to illegal marriage halls.

The bench passed the orders after DG LDA apprised the court that action was being taken against the illegal marriage halls and 186 marriage halls had been surveyed till now. He submitted that usually the courts stayed the authority from action, if any step was taken against illegal marriage halls.

However, representatives of marriage halls briefed the court that until 1997, no law existed for regularisation of marriage halls and they had constructed their halls earlier.