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Friday April 12, 2024

KWSC proposes long-term solution to DHA, CBC water issue

By Jamal Khurshid
November 08, 2023
The Sindh High Court (SHC) building. — Facebook/The High Court of Sindh, Karachi
 The Sindh High Court (SHC) building. — Facebook/The High Court of Sindh, Karachi

A dedicated supply line from Dur Mohammad Goth to the Ittehad pumping station is a long-term solution for resolving the water issue of the Defence Housing Authority (DHA) and Clifton Cantonment Board (CBC) areas, the Karachi Water & Sewerage Corporation (KWSC) informed the Sindh High Court (SHC) on Tuesday.

Filing the minutes of a meeting KWSC CEO Syed Salahuddin Ahmed held with the stakeholders to resolve the supply issue, Ahmed proposed that a dedicated line from Damloti (Dur Mohammad Goth) to the Ittehad pumping station is required for the DHA and CBC areas. Due to financial constraints, however, the CBC representative thought otherwise.

In the previous hearing, the court had directed the DHA and the CBC to devise a uniform water supply policy for their residents, and directed the KWSC and CBC officials to meet with the stakeholders to resolve the residents’ issue.

According to the meeting’s minutes, it was resolved that the KWSC would provide 6mgd water at Chakra Goth and 1mgd at other locations to supply water to the DHA and the CBC, confirming that if the same is supplied, DHA residents would positively get water every fifth day through the pipelines.

It was decided that distribution issues and efficiency of the water supply network in the CBC service area would be determined by hydraulic and origin-destination surveys. The court was informed that the DHA and the CBC need to draw their own water & sewerage master plans that must align with the overall water & sewerage master plan of the KWSC.

It was decided in the meeting that the CBC and the KWSC would sign a formal agreement, as mandated under the KWSC Act’s Section 23(3) and Section 23(4), read with Section 27 and Section 29(1).

It was also decided that the CBC would immediately instal digital flow meters at all the points where bulk supply of water is being received from the KWSC, and that these points would be visited by the petitioners with the CBC and KWSC officials.

After taking the minutes of the meeting on record, an SHC division bench headed by acting chief justice Aqeel Ahmed Abbasi directed the counsels to submit their replies on the report, and adjourned the hearing until December 7.

DHA residents had filed petitions for supply of water through pipelines in their area, and against the imposition of additional charges for water supply through tankers.

The court had earlier directed the then Karachi Water & Sewerage Board (KWSB) to submit a report regarding the distribution of the water supply mechanism in different areas of the DHA and the CBC, the storage capacity of the DHA as well as the time table for water supply by the KWSB.

The petitioners had said that the cantonment board was charging between Rs2,886 and Rs108,219 from residential houses, and between Rs4,040 and Rs61,612 from commercial units under the head of annual water tax.

They said the SHC had already adjudicated the issue with regard to the supply of water and the cantonment board’s responsibility, and observed that in case of failure, the CBC disentitle itself from charging, claiming or collecting water tax from the residents.

They also said that no water meters had been installed by the CBC, and the board was continuously charging water tax according to the size of the property, and not according to the quantity of water being consumed.

They said in the petition that the cantonment board was providing roughly 30 per cent of the water that was needed by its residents, and charging onerous levies and additional costs against the same. They pointed out that all the residents of the DHA and the CBC were not only burdened with onerous charges but also not being provided with the sufficient amount of water.