Lahore(October 11, 2018): Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Saqib Nisar on Thursday called out mineral water companies for drying out water reserves in Lahore and Sheikhupura.
The chief justice, while heading a two-member bench, raised the matter in a suo moto case pertaining to alleged misuse of water resources among mineral water companies operating in the country.
“The level of underground water has reached 400 feet in Lahore and mineral water companies have dried up the provincial capital and Sheikhupura,” he objected.“No company selling drinking water is paying for underground water. Billions of gallons of water were taken and even hundreds of thousands were not paid for it.”
He objected that most mineral water companies are selling sub-standard water.
In response, Aitzaz Ahsan, an attorney representing the water companies contended that the firms spend money on extracting underground water, purifying it and marketing it”.
To this, the CJP replied, “Let’s shut down your turbine and ask the company to give tap water.”
Justice Saqib Nisar raised consequences that underground water reserves are getting barren and taps have been running dry.
He asserted that such industries must be shut down which are making the country barren.
In conclusion, the chief justice quoted, “If these companies want to continue operations then they should pay Rs1/litre to the government.”
Ahsan contended they can give up to Rs0.5/litre, in response to which the CJP stated, “You buy water for Rs1 and sell it for Rs52.”
Justice Saqib urged the nation to drink tap water, “People waste water and leave half-full bottles. In villages, people still drink tap water but residents of cities have an attitude problem and don’t drink it.”