ISLAMABAD: Hearing the Bani Gala encroachment case, the Supreme Court directed on Monday the Capital Development Authority (CDA) to make the regularisation of constructions more transparent.
A three-judge apex court bench, headed by Justice Umar Ata Bandial, directed the authority to furnish a report on the quality of water in Korang Nullah after the court was informed that housing societies are disposing of untreated sewage into it.
Justice Bandial remarked that the housing societies should be stopped from polluting the drain. He said that all societies need to have sewerage treatment plants. He said a no-objection certificate should be given on the condition that societies will install their own treatment plants.
No treatment plant at the drain is operational, the SC judge noted, adding a structure has been erected but it has not been operating. The hearing was put off for an indefinite period. In the previous hearings of the case, the Supreme Court criticised the CDA for its snail’s pace regularisation of unauthorised construction in Banigala and suggested charging residents to meet the cost of installing sewage treatment plants in the area. Justice Ijazul Ahsan, one of the members of the bench, remarked that the court had been informed that at least four plants are required for Rawal Dam, which is the main water reservoir for Rawalpindi.
The CDA’s director general environment told the SC there are currently no sewage treatment plants functioning along the dam. He also explained the government measures to prevent contamination of the lake, and informed the court of an inter-departmental committee that comprises officials of six departments regularly tests the water.
Local government laws ban littering in the catchment, he said, while the Fisheries Department is responsible for stopping illegal boating in Rawal Lake. The official added that poultry farms along the Korang River also contaminate the water.
Justice Bandial suggested that the local community might be asked to contribute, and the Punjab government or MCI could impose taxes on residents in this regard. TLTP