Court orders resolution of civic problems in Peshawar -Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Paksitan Press Foundtion

Court orders resolution of civic problems in Peshawar

PESHAWAR: The Peshawar High Court on Thursday directed the administration of Peshawar capital city and its four town councils to take immediate steps for resolving civic problems of citizens including replacement of rusted and leaked water supply pipes, proper waste disposal and fencing of canals, etc.

A two-member bench comprising PHC Chief Justice Dost Mohammad Khan and Justice Waqar Ahmad Seth also directed Khyber Pakhtunkhwa chief secretary to take steps for inking an agreement with a firm, which had offered to set up solid waste recycling plant in the provincial capital.

The bench ordered the town municipal officers (TMOs) of the four towns in Peshawar, who were present in the court, to take the orders seriously.

After a month a joint inspection team comprising officials of PHC and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) would visit different localities and examine the situation on ground and if the civic problems were not resolved action would be taken against the responsible officials. The court fixed Jan 22 for next hearing. The court had last year taken suo moto notice of the environmental degradation in the provincial capital and issued detailed order on June 16, 2011.

The court had directed the provincial government to replace all the rotten potable water supply pipes within six months and install incinerators at proper places across the province for proper waste disposal.During earlier hearings; the court was informed that the rotten water pipes had been replaced. However, the bench observed on Thursday that an inspection team of the court had visited different localities and found that rotten and leaked pipes were present in different areas.

The PHC chief justice observed that it was also noticed that leaked pipes were passing through canals and it was required that those pipes should be immediately replaced and shifted to other spots.

The TMOs said that it was the responsibility of public health engineering department to look after provision of potable water to citizens. However, the PHC chief justice observed that the district government and four towns had levied several taxes on the inhabitants and looking after the civic facilities were their responsibility.

The PHC chief justice inquired from them as to why they wanted to shift their responsibility to other departments.

On a query, the director general of EPA, Dr Bashir, said that his agency had taken water samples from different areas for test and wherever water was found unfit for human consumption it issued directives to the town concerned.

The bench also expressed concern over lack of proper disposal of solid wastes in different areas. The director general of Peshawar Development Authority, Qazi Laiq, said that they were holding negotiations with a firm for setting up a recycling plant for which solid wastes would be purchased from the government.

The bench issued directives to the chief secretary to look into that matter and expedite the process. It was added that the solid waste could be utilised for power generation.

The bench also took notice of the non-fencing and non-erection of safety walls around canals that could result in accidents. The court ordered that all the canals passing through the provincial capital should be properly fenced.

During course of proceeding, the PHC chief justice observed that the government had not been taking interest in the problems faced by people and due to same reason the courts had to intervene.