SHC Questions KWSB probing illegal hydrants operating in Karachi
KARACHI: The Sindh High Court (SHC) has called comments from the Karachi Water and Sewerage Board (KWSB) chairperson, managing director and in-charge of the water hydrants to explain the status of various illegal hydrants allegedly operating on federal government property in the city.
A division bench, headed by Justice Syed Hasan Azhar Rizvi, was hearing a petition filed by a group of citizens who had taken the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation administrator, the Karachi commissioner, the KWSB chairperson, MD and in-charge of water hydrants, the Rangers director-general, the Pakistan Public Works department and others to court over the illegal water hydrants.
The petitioners, including Mian Zahid Shah and Shahid Khursheed Ahmed, said there used to be one water hydrant on the land of the Pakistan Public Works department in 2005-2006. They claimed that dozens of such hydrants have now been set up without authorisation on government property between Lasbela and Teen Hatti.
The operations of these hydrants are continuing with the backing of influential politicians, who are causing huge losses to the national exchequer by selling the commodity, they alleged. They added that heavy tankers’ 24-hour movement not only creates traffic jams but has also led to the deterioration of law and order in the area.
The judges were informed that in January, this year, the KWSB staff had demolished the illegal hydrants, but the operators have once again set up these hydrants.
The petitioners pleaded that the Pakistan Public Works department, the KMC chief, the Rangers DG and others be ordered to remove these hydrants from the residential area.
Filing comments on Thursday, the East Range SSP said all the hydrants operating in the area in question have been issued no-objection certificates (NOCs) by the KWSB. However, the officer said the police have no power to demolish the hydrants. Nonetheless, he added, that they will provide assistance to the relevant departments if a demolition operation is launched.
Lawyers representing the hydrant operators informed the court that they had already filed comments, denying the allegations of illegal operations of their hydrants.
Advocate Muhammad Shehzad, who appeared on behalf of the KWSB MD, chairperson and hydrants incharge, requested for time to file their comments.
Allowing the request, the bench also directed him to file para-wise comments. He was also asked to file the copy of the Supreme Court’s order passed in the illegal hydrants case by November 26.
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