Pemra told to broadcast water conservation awareness messages
RAWALPINDI: The Lahore High Court (LHC) Rawalpindi bench directed the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra) to broadcast water conservation awareness campaigns on national media and also instructed the Rawalpindi administration to establish a dedicated YouTube channel and disseminate relevant content for this purpose through social media platforms.
LHC Justice Sohail Nasir, deciding the petition against installation of illegal hydrants, issued multiple directions to the Rawalpindi administration, Water and Sanitation Agency (Wasa) and Pemra.
The court directed the deputy commissioner and Wasa managing director to provide content depicting public responsibilities in the ongoing water crisis to the Pemra chairman for their onward distribution to private television channels for broadcasting since it was the prerequisite in their license.
Justice Nasir further directed the deputy commissioner and MD Wasa to launch a campaign to educate the public by quoting the verses of the Holy Quran and hadith on the importance of water by displaying them on billboards, streamers and banners in mosques, educational institutions and government offices.
“The deputy commissioner shall also ask the representatives of chamber of commerce, Rawalpindi to use their forum for this campaign by inviting trade unions and other sectors of society. The district education officer shall ensure that all educational institutions of the city (government and private) shall carry out effective awareness programmers through short-term lectures on alternate days in a week by inviting the volunteers relevant to the subject as well as by hosting debate competitions,” the court order said.
It further added: “The district education officer and the deputy commissioner shall launch a YouTube Channel solely dedicated to the issue. Using this platform, all the videos irrespective of rewards produced by the students shall be uploaded. The targeted contents shall also be posted, displayed and uploaded by using other platforms, such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.”
Justice Nasir said water is the best choice for hydrating the body and it is difficult to survive after a specified period in case water is not provided to a human being.
The court noted that currently, sources of water supply to the metropolitan (excluding cantonment) are from Rawal Dam, Khanpur Dam and tubewells being controlled, regulated and managed by Wasa. Right now, against the demand of 68 million gallons per day (MGD) the supply is of 51 MGD with a shortage of 17 MGD. Apparently, Wasa has no solution to cover the shortfall between demand and supply.
The court further observed that since the MD Wasa has given an undertaking of taking action against illegal hydrants, therefore, the grievances of petitioners have been addressed.
The court has entertained the petition as public interest litigation, therefore, the judge has asked the relevant quarters to play their obligatory role to counter the water crises.