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Missed deadlines: Health, industries depts face commission’s ire over noncompliance

Show-cause notices were issued on Tuesday to the health and industries departments for failing to submit reports explaining measures to provide clean water to hospitals and discharge of waste into the sea, respectively.

The judicial commission, set up on Supreme Court orders to probe drinking water and sanitation provisions in Sindh, was visibly upset when the health department’s additional secretary and the industries department’s secretary failed to submit their reports. Justice Muhammad Iqbal Kalhoro, who heads the commission, directed both the secretaries to appear on Wednesday (today) to explain their failure to appear and submit the reports.

At the outset of Tuesday’s proceedings, Justice Kalhoro observed that the health official had, on January 23, requested for one week to file the statement containing details relating to the schemes of water supply in government hospitals and the management of the waste produced by all the health facilities across the province, the allied issues, including amount spent by the government hospitals individually on the waste management in the past five years.

The secretary was further required to inform whether the Hospital Waste Management Rules, 2014, were being implemented not only by the government hospitals but also private health facilities. Despite being given the time, the health department failed to submit the report.

Similarly, the industries department secretary was also directed on January 24 to submit a comprehensive report on the mode and manner in which the industries’ effluent was being disposed of across the province, observed Justice Kalhoro.

The secretary was also asked to explain the role and responsibility of his department towards this issue, availability of resources to monitor the disposal of the industrial effluent, the finances spent on such resources and action, if any, was taken against any industry for violating the law regulating the disposal of the industrial effluent. But neither did the secretary appear nor was any report submitted on his behalf.

Taking serious exception to such conduct on the part of the senior officers, the commission observed that both the secretaries failed to meet the deadline despite their undertaking given before the commission on January 23 and January 24.

Therefore, it ordered issuance of show-cause notices to both the secretaries to explain why they failed to appear and submit their reports.

Reporter. Missed deadlines: Health, industries depts face commission’s ire over noncompliance. The Express Tribune, February 1, 2017.

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