Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah presiding over a meeting of Karachi Water & Sewerage Board has decided to launch a vigorous operation against water theft so that water could be supplied to the starving areas of the city.
“The KWSB has to improve its overall performance by ushering in the best professional practices in its entire system right from administration to water distribution, revenue collection to enhancing revenue resources, reducing line losses to completion of its projects in time.”
Mr Shah said that the KWSB is responsible for production, transmission, and distribution of water to the people of Karachi. “Therefore, it will have to demonstrate its professionalism in its working and services,” the CM said.
The meeting was attended by Minister Local Govt Nasir Shah, Minister Labour Saeed Ghani, Administrator Karachi Murtaza Wahab, Chief Secretary Sohail Rajput, CM Special Assistant Waqar Mehdi, Najmi Alam, Principal Secretary to CM Fayaz Jatoi, Secretary LG Najam Shah, former MD Water Board Asadullah Khan, MD Water Board, and chief engineers here at CM House on Friday.
Minister Local govt Syed Nasir Shah briefing the chief minister on system related issues said that overall water supply to Karachi city was around 406 MGD against a demand of 1000 MGD. He added that water distribution network outlived water system laid decades back. “Weak Water Pipe Joints causing wastages / Leakages of water.
Giving details of available water supply, the local govt minister said that KWSB took 450 MGD water from Dhabeji, 100 MGD from Hub and 30 MGD Gharo. “In this way we have 580 MDG, of which 30 percent or 174 MGD goes waste in line losses that means 406 MGD is available for the city,” he calculated.
It may be noted that 40 gallons of water per capita for 25 million population/water users of the city comes to 1000 MGD.
According to Syed Nasir Shah the last addition in bulk water supply source was made in 2007 of 100 MGD through the K-III project. “Power Break Down problem at Dhabeji, Gharo or Hub results in immediate reduction in supply,” he said and added “change of land use (residential to commercial) unbalanced drawl of water from existing inventory in street/roads.”
The meeting was told that the water demand in each District/town has increased twice against water supplied. The consumers close to water mains/pumping stations draw water of their need, but tail enders or elevated areas consumers are not getting water for short supply.
At this the chief minister asking a cross question from the local govt minister and water board team said that when there was such a huge shortage of 594 MGD in the city how people were meeting it. They replied through water tankers. At this the CM said it meant that water was available in the system from where the tankers were supplying water to meet the demand.
Nasir Shah said that all the illegal hydrants have been eliminated and only six legal hydrants were in operation. At this the chief minister said that the tankers were not going to Keejhar or River Indus to fetch water. “They are stealing water from the water board system,” the CM said.
Murad Ali Shah directed the chief secretary to coordinate with Rangers, Police, and other related agencies to start a decisive operation against the water theft in the city. “I want you [KWSB] to take action against the consumers who have installed heavy pumps over water supply pipes and illegal water connection from the main pipes,” he said.
Mr Shah directed the water board administration to expedite their schemes for adding more water in the system and upgradation of distribution system and replacement of old pipes with new ones. “a 65 MGD additional water supply scheme of Rs9.1 billion, rehabilitation of Hub canal and installation of five MGD desalination project under PPP mode should be taken up on fast pace,” he said and added the KWSB must improve its performance in terms of its services, revenue generation, professionalism to handle the entire operation.
The chief minister said that the water distribution system of KWSB was so defective that some areas of the city were receiving water round the clock while various others were waiting for over weeks. “This system needs to be made judicious,” he said and directed KWSB to prepare a zoning plan for water distribution at water trunk main level and town distribution network to provide water up to the tail-end consumers.