The Karachi Water & Sewerage Board (KWSB) has decided that it will now be compulsory for the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation, the district municipal corporations and other civic agencies to get a no-objection certificate from the utility for their water and sewerage projects.
The decision was taken on Tuesday during a meeting of the KWSB’s governing body at the utility’s head office with Sindh Local Government Minister Saeed Ghani in chair. Besides other participants, Karachi Mayor Waseem Akhtar and KWSB Managing Director Asadullah Khan were also present in the meeting.
The meeting decided that from now onwards the use of discretionary powers of the chairman of the KWSB on behalf of the entire governing body of the water utility would be minimised, as such an authority should only be exercised in emergency situations.
Ghani, who is the incumbent chairman of the KWSB on an ex-officio basis, said that the governing body would now form sub-committees comprising its members to properly consider every issue of the KWSB referred to the governing body.
The governing body of the water board will take the final decision on these issues on the basis of the reports and findings of these sub-committees, he added.
The LG minister said that in the past it had become a practice that decisions were taken by the KWSB’s chairman on a discretionary basis while using the authority vested in him on behalf of the entire governing body.
He noted on the occasion that the KWSB could not own 25 to 35 per cent of the city, as it had laid down no proper water and sewerage infrastructure in those areas.
Even then the KWSB has to work in such areas despite the fact that its utility network is not available there, he said, adding that such areas include shanty settlements, areas falling in the jurisdiction of different residential societies and localities under different cantonment boards.
The meeting decided that development schemes would be prepared for the provision of proper water and sewerage networks for such areas with the assistance of the heads of the relevant civic agencies under whose jurisdictions such areas fall.
These development schemes will be included in the budget of the water board to get proper funding for them in order to ensure their early materialisation. The meeting decided that the post of the KWSB MD could be filled by an official from outside of the service of the water utility keeping in view the experience of the selected candidate in the provision of water and sewerage services for a big city like Karachi.
From now onwards, it would not be compulsory that the position of the chief of the KWSB is filled by an official belonging to the service of only the water utility. The governing body also decided that action would be launched by the officials concerned to end encroachments on the land that comes under the KWSB.
The meeting, however, deferred action on the land of the board where residential settlements are present and where people have been residing, as a proper strategy will be adopted later on by the governing body to vacate such estates of the utility.
The meeting decided that the pace of work will be increased on the KWSB’s projects, including the K-IV, 100mgd and 65mgd schemes, and that the project director of the 65mgd scheme will be replaced so that the project can be completed in a year.
The LG minister directed the relevant officials to revamp the sewerage system of the city so that the people do not face problems related to the overflowing sewers in their residential areas.
The governing body also formed a selection-cum-promotion committee to consider the cases of regularisation of the services of the KWSB officers who had been promoted from grade-14 to grade-16 in 2011.