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Court restrains Punjab from diverting water supply funds

October 11, 2012

Rawalpindi Oct 10: Justice Mamoon Rashid Sheikh of the Lahore High Court (LHC) Rawalpindi bench on Wednesday restrained Punjab government from diverting five billion in funds to the ‘Murree bulk water supply scheme’ to any other project.

Orders were issued after the petitioner Barrister Qamar Hussain Sabzwari, contended before the court that chief minister Punjab through a letter dated August 16, 2011 put the funds for Murree bulk water supply scheme at the

disposal of local MNA Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, to utilise in providing electricity to the few villages of Murree.

The petitioner while citing Punjab government, Islamabad Electric Supply Company (Iesco) and Shahid Khaqan Abbasi as respondents told the court that it was the last provincial government of PML-Q that allocated five billion rupees for installing water purification system and its supply to the residents of Murree and its adjacent villages.

Around two billion rupees were already consumed by this project when four water tanks were constructed and pipelines were laid.

After the installation of water tanks, a grid station and a pumping station for supply of water has to be constructed.

But the incumbent provincial government put the remaining funds at the disposal of local MNA who wanted to install the infrastructure for supply of electricity to a few villages.

The petitioner contended that water is a basic essential for life and residents of Murree are already facing a water shortage problem.

Abandoning the project would be a loss to the national exchequer because money had already been spent on the project.

The LHC’s Rawalpindi bench after issuing the stay orders directed Punjab government and other respondents to submit reply till October 31.