KARACHI: The Sindh High Court on Monday directed the agriculture secretary and the deputy commissioners of Korangi and Malir districts to submit their respective reports regarding action taken by them to stop cultivation of vegetables using sewage.
A two-judge bench comprising Justices Muhammad Ali Mazhar and Amjad Ali Sahito issued these directives while hearing a petition regarding purported cultivation of vegetables through sewage in parts of the metropolis.
The petitioner had submitted that vegetables were being grown through sewage and industrial waste in Korangi, Malir, Landhi and other areas located on the outskirts of the city and these vegetables were not fit for human consumption.
On Monday, counsel for the Sindh Food Authority (SFA), its director-Legal Zulfiqar Nizamani, additional agriculture secretary (technical) and department’s focal person Mushtaq Ahmed and additional deputy commissioner Korangi Syed Arshad Waris appeared before the court.
SHC issues notices to federal and provincial govts on a plea for completion of K-IV project
The judges observed that in the larger public interest the court had on the last date called the additional agriculture secretary and additional deputy commissioner-I of Malir who was called absent again.
Mr Nizamani submitted that the SFA had taken the contaminated samples of the vegetables and had sent it to a laboratory and were awaiting its report.
He said the samples were sent to the lab on Jan 21 and he would file the report on the next date.
The bench directed him to ensure that on the next date the laboratory report should be submitted in the court “without any fail”.
It also directed the additional DC-Korangi to make inspection of the entire area and submit a progress report as to what action the DC had taken to eliminate and eradicate such type of activities from his area so that the public at large should not become victim of buying vegetables growing through sewage.
The court directed the DC-Malir to ensure that a report should be submitted in which he would mention what action was taken in his district against this activity.
The additional secretary was also directed to submit a report duly signed by the secretary with regard to action taken by them in this matter.
The hearing was adjourned till Feb 17.
The same bench issued notices to the federal and provincial governments through the planning and development secretary and Sindh chief secretary on a petition seeking early completion of the K-IV project to supply additional water to the metropolis.
A petitioner had approached the court in the public interest and specifically submitted that the K-IV water project had not been completed due to which scarcity of water was being faced by the public at large.
He further submitted that the people were facing hardships as the issue of water shortage was worsening with every passing day and pleaded to the court to direct the federal and provincial authorities to complete the long-awaited K-IV project at the earliest.
The bench also issued notices to the federal and provincial law officers to submit replies on behalf of the authorities concerned and adjourned the hearing for a date to be later notified by the office.
Published in Dawn, January 26th, 2021