Hyderabad faces dilemmas of water, power shortage

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HYDERABAD: The second largest city of Sindh is currently grappling with an extraordinary shortage of water in the downstream areas, aggravated by frequent power outages, which have disrupted the water supply and drainage systems.

The Water and Sanitation Agency (WASA) has conveyed its concerns to the Provincial Irrigation Department.

In a recent statement, the Hyderabad Development Authority (HDA) acknowledged the numerous complaints about water shortages in different parts of the city, including Taluka City, Latifabad, and Qasimabad.

Media reports have shed light on this problem, with WASA Hyderabad facing public criticism for the ongoing water shortage.

The HDA explained that the shortage of water has been a prevailing issue for several days. The downstream water level in the Indus River has significantly dropped, making it nearly impossible to extract water for supply.

Consequently, the water supply in many parts of the city has dwindled, and in some areas, it has come to a complete standstill.

Adding to the predicament, frequent power outages, both scheduled an unannounced, and technical glitches have severely hampered the WASA system. WASA Managing Director Anjum Saeed has written to the chief engineer of the Irrigation Department, drawing attention to the alarming decrease in water levels downstream and the water shortage experienced by the public.

Saeed made an appeal to the Irrigation Department to expedite the release of water downstream, so that WASA can restore its usual water supply to consumers. He reassured the public by acknowledging their concerns and affirmed that every possible effort is being made to rectify the situation promptly. He expressed hope that the water shortage situation will be resolved in the near future.

WASA yet to become HWSC

The caretaker government has set aside the implementation of the bill passed by the Sindh Assembly in the past govern-
ment to form the Hyderabad Water and Sewerage Corporation by dissolving the Water and Sanitation Agency, (WASA), a subsidiary of the Hyderabad Authority (HDA).

In August, the PPP- led Sindh government had passed the bill by amending the Municipal Act 2023 for the establishment of water and sewerage corporations in Hyderabad, Sukkur, Mirpurkhas and Nawabshah after Karachi and after fulfilling
all the legal requirements, the provincial assembly had issued a notification in this regard on August 6.

Hyderabad Water and Sewerage Corporation Bill 2023 was published in the Sindh Government Gazette on August 10 under Sindh Bill No31/2023 approved by the defunct provincial assembly.

According to the gazette notification this bill Hyderabad Water and Sewerage Corporation (HWSC) has been established for providing clean drinking water and improving the sewerage system within the territorial limits of Hyderabad Municipal
Corporation (HMC).

Per notification, this bill will be considered Hyderabad Water and Sewerage Corporation Act 2023, which will be applicable to the municipal limits of HMC and the areas designated by the government with immediate effect.

This corporation will work as an independent organisation. This corporation will provide clean drinking water, improve drainage system, water connection for consumers, improve drainage system through modern and suction trucks.

HWSC will have the power to collect fee and charges for its services, which will also ensure its financial stability.

According to the bill, the mayor will be the chairperson of the corporation, while the chief executive officer will be ap-
pointed by the board for a period of four years.

In the definition of the board of the corporation in the bill, it is said that the affairs and directions of the corporation shall be with the board and this board can exercise all the powers. This board will consist of a chairperson and official and non-official members. The elected mayor of HMC will be the chairperson of the board and in his absence, the administrator of HMC will perform the duties of the chairperson.

All movable properties belonging to the Water and Sanitation Wing of WASA, HMC and TMCs shall be transferred to the Corporation before the commencement of this Act

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