CJP takes suo moto notice of mineral water companies using underground water

LAHORE: Chief Justice of Pakistan, Justice Saqib Nisar took suo moto notice of mineral water companies using underground water for selling it in bottles during the hearing of a case pertaining to environmental issues facing the Katas Raj Temple.
“Now water will not be sold free, it is as precious as gold,” remarked the CJP, adding that he would hear the case relating to mineral water companies in Lahore on Saturday (today).
In this regard, he gave directions to the attorney general and provincial advocate generals to inquire how much water is being used by the companies.
“They are extracting water and selling it, someone should tell whether these companies are paying for it or not” he said.
Justice Nisar also directed the mineral water companies’ owners in Karachi to come to Lahore.
The secretary for local bodies informed the court that arrangements had been made with regard to provision of water to three cement factories located near the temple.
At this, Justice Nisar said there are 12 factories in the vicinity and directed the officials to review affairs relating to all factories, and not to target a single factory.
The secretary informed that they had devised a formula for the use of underground water by all cement factories, however, they were yet to ascertain a price for it.
At this, the chief justice also sought a report pertaining to the procedure of ascertaining this price.
Justice Nisar also expressed his displeasure after the local bodies’ secretary requested the court for granting a month’s time. “Why should we give you one month? Go home if you cannot work or submit a report within three days.”
The chief justice also sought a detailed report on dried up water spring in Katas Raj Temple by Tuesday.
The court further ordered a review of scarcity of underground water due to other factories located in Chakwal and adjourned the hearing until September 18.