By Atiya Riffat
The CJP, who was hearing a suo motu case at the Supreme Court’s Peshawar registry, ordered KP Chief Minister Pervez Khattak to appear before the court and explain the reasons behind his government’s shortcomings.
When the chief minister appeared before the three-member bench, the CJP informed him that he had visited Peshawar’s Lady Reading Hospital (LRH) earlier in the day but observed no improvement in the state of affairs there.
Chief Minister Khattak then defended his government’s performance, saying the structure of schools and hospitals was in a shambles when he started and things have since improved.
But the CJP appeared unconvinced, saying he has had to face “hopelessness” from every side. He said he was well aware that things were being cleaned up in Peshawar a week in advance of his visit.
Justice Nisar had earlier in the day grilled provincial officials over the steps taken to ensure that clean drinking water is available to citizens.
CJP asked Chief Secretary Azam Khan, Which canal are you throwing Peshawar’s waste into?. Justice Nisar took the secretary to task when he informed the court that sewerage water is dumped into canals and rivers.
At the outset of the hearing of a case concerning the disposal of hospitals’ waste, the CJP had remarked that the conditions in hospitals of Karachi and Lahore has improved on the court’s orders and asked the health secretary what the situation was like in KP.
Visit to medical college
The CJP also heard a case about exorbitant fees charged by private medical colleges in the province. The administration of Al-Razi Medical College informed the court that the students were being charged Rs800, 000 fees per year. At this, the CJP ordered the college to return the extra fees charged to students on an immediate basis. He also ordered authorities to seize the college’s records and freeze its assets.
No improvement’ at the Lady Reading Hospital
The CJP then visited the Lady Reading Hospital (LRH), the largest public sector teaching hospital in the province.
“I saw no improvement during my visit to LRH,” the CJP remarked after the visit, and asked the chief secretary how many hospitals the provincial government had built along the lines of LRH in the last five years.