No-one held accountable for flood destruction: Supreme Court
ISLAMABAD: While hearing a contempt of court petition pertaining to the Flood Commission’s report on Monday, a three-member Supreme Court bench directed the federal government and all provincial chief secretaries to ensure the implementation of every recommendation mentioned in the report.
The bench comprising Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, Justice Gulzar Ahmed and Justice Sh Azmat Saeed also issued notice to the petitioner, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz’s Marvi Memon, to appear at the next hearing.
The chief justice asked the Additional Advocate General Sindh why the Flood Commission’s report was not made public. He said the damages were estimated at Rs855 billion and 85 lives were lost, adding that the destruction had not been prevented and no one held accountable for the extensive damage caused by floods.
The chief justice also inquired about measures taken to obstruct the flow of the rivers, adding that nothing had been done to alleviate the excess. He held the Punjab government responsible for not taking measures to obstruct the rivers’ flow, as they all pass through the province.
He also asked why low-lying areas had not been cleared of water, warning that inaction may result in a loss of lives. He remarked that innocent lives must not be put at stake to satisfy political interests. A representative of the Sindh Irrigation Department told the court that 25% of the encroachments in low-lying areas have been cleared. The chief justice ordered that a Google Earth satellite image also be submitted as proof that encroachments had been removed.
The court adjourned the hearing for three weeks. Marvi Memon had requested the court in September 2011 to order the revival of the Flood Commission in order to determine if the government had failed to carry out the group’s recommendations.