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Fit for consumption?: Judicial commission orders water testing

The judicial commission set up to probe the allegations regarding non-provision of potable water and the worsening conditions of sanitation in the province ordered on Tuesday laboratory testing to determine if the water being supplied to the people in different districts is fit for human consumption.

Justice Muhammad Iqbal Kalhoro of the Sindh High Court, who is heading the commission set up in compliance of the order passed by the Supreme Court, also issued notices to three experts to render their assistance during the ongoing inquiry.

Earlier, the commission had sought names of the experts in addition to submitting reports on measures taken so far for the provision of clean drinking water, improvement of the deteriorating conditions and environmental protection in the province.

The commission had invited the general public and public organisations working on the subject to assist in the proceedings by submitting their statements supported by affidavits.

At the outset of Tuesday’s proceedings, the additional attorney-general, Salman Talibuddin, proposed the name of Pakistan Council of Research in Water Resources (PCRWR) water quality laboratory’s senior research officer, Dr Ghulam Murtaza Arain.

The additional advocate-general, Muhammad Sarwar Khan, proposed the names of the retired secretary of the irrigation department, Idress Rajput, Thatta’s Chilya Laboratory incharge, Dr Ahsan Siddiqui, Bashir Ahmed Dahar and Dr Samiuzzaman.

Meanwhile, the petitioner, Shahab Usto, floated the name of NED University architecture department head Dr Noman Ahmed, to seek his expertise on the subject.

With the consent of all, the commission finalised the names of Rajput, Dr Noman and Dr Arain and directed the office to issue summons to these experts for their appearance on January 9.

In order to record precise findings on the subject, the commission decided to call for test reports of surface and sub-soil water samples to determine the quality of water being supplied to people across the province.

Talibuddin proposed that water samples may be tested by PCRWR.

“Let directions be issued to PCRWR chairperson for getting microbiological and chemical tests of water samples where its laboratories are situated in Sindh – Karachi, Hyderabad, Sukkur, Badin, Tando Jam, et cetera,” the commission ordered, adding that the reports were to be submitted within 10 days of the receipt of the order.

Justice Kalhoro also directed the district and sessions’ judges and deputy commissioners of these districts to provide all logistical support to the staff of PCRWR. The water samples shall be taken and sealed in the presence of the sessions’ judges and deputy commissioners, he directed.

The proceedings were adjourned till January 9.

Citation: Reporter. Fit for consumption?: Judicial commission orders water testing. The Express Tribune, January 4, 2017

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