CJP gives 7 days warning to Mineral Water Companies
CJP Mian Saqib Nisar warned mineral water companies to fix the quality of water otherwise the companies would be shut down by next Monday.
On Monday, the Chief justice Pakistan directed the mineral water companies to pay the price of groundwater and fix the quality of their water by next Monday.
Hearing the Case:
While hearing a case regarding the use of groundwater by mineral water companies at the Supreme Court, the judge said that the judicial commission’s report was inconclusive. He added that mineral water companies should have mercy on consumers.
CJPNisar asked the advocate generals of all four provinces to suggest how the issue could be fixed.
“This fraud with citizens should be ended. We will not let the citizens’ water and money wasted.” he asserted.
A three-member bench:
During the hearing, the three-member bench directed water companies to follow the recommendations of the judicial commission.
Chief justice Pakistan said that there should be a restriction on mineral water companies. He told that until now, the company had been selling citizens poor quality drinking water. He was of the opinion that people should stop consuming bottled water.
CJP directed the companies to improve the quality of their water by next Monday otherwise they would be shut down.
“People will not die thirsty, water from wells is of better quality than this,” he said.
Environmental Protection Agency Director General Farzana Shah told the court that mineral water companies source their water from the ground and canals in Punjab.
These companies replace the canal water with sewage. The tainted water is then used by farmers to water their crops, she said.
A case against mineral water companies:
CJP Nisar said that the court still had not registered a case against mineral water companies, although given the conduct of the companies, he said, it should be done.
A lawyer for a mineral water company, Shahid Hamid, said that his client had adhered to all the quality standards.
Justice Nisar lashed out at the companies’ lawyers, saying that they would make this country into Ethiopia.
Hamid told him that he could impose a tax, to which JCP Nisar replied, “You are not paying the cost of the basic raw materials.”
While presenting a water sample in the court, the Director-General EPA said that mineral water companies have certain disadvantages.
Ahsan Siddiqui of the judicial commission said that bottled water companies, on a monthly basis, withdraw 7 billion liters of water in the aquifer and replace it with 0.5bn liters of dirty water.
“They don’t give one paisa if these companies give money, our dam will be made. We don’t need anyone else,” he said
The earlier story:
On November 20, Supreme Court had directed a judicial commission to inspect companies that sell bottled water locally. SC had directed all such companies to rectify their errors within 10 days.
The report which had found that groundwater contains fluoride and arsenic also highlighted that none of the other companies are aware of what is in the water that they extract from the ground.
CJP Nisar asked why cases hadn’t been registered against companies selling poor quality water. The Punjab Food Authority (PFA) Director-General said that notices had been sent but the administration refused to receive it.
Currently, the Supreme Court is focusing on reducing the price of water. “This is a matter of the lives of citizens. The court will have a strict investigation conducted. Water companies are lying and earning crores,” Chief justice said.
“We will not let Pakistan be treated like a third world country and we will not let discrimination take place,” JCP Nisar asserted.