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July 27, 2019

Murad directs KWSB to launch rotation-based system of water supply

Karachi

July 27, 2019

Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah has directed the Karachi Water & Sewerage Board (KWSB) to launch a rotation-based system for the distribution of water in the city and develop a system on its website through which people can know when water will be supplied to their locality.

He issued the directive on Friday while presiding over a meeting of the local government department on equitable distribution of water in the city. The meeting also discussed ways to deal with heavy rain expected on July 29 in the city.

The CM told the KWSB that it should assume complete responsibility for the distribution of water in the city. “KWSB has to take over the entire system in a transparent manner as it can’t be left at the mercy of others.”

Local Government Minister Saeed Ghani said 406 million gallons per day (MGD) was the net supply of water to the city against its requirement of 918 MGD.

To this, the CM remarked that there was an almost 50 per cent water shortage in the city and to address the issue, water must be distributed equitably.

“A rotation system [similar to that which] is planned by the irrigation department during water shortage may also be replicated by the KWSB in the city,” he said, adding that the present situation of water supply was unfair as some areas of the city were receiving water regularly and others had to wait for weeks to get water.

Shah said he had confirmed reports that valve-men had established a parallel sway over the water distribution system. “The valve-men involved in favouritism must be identified and criminal cases may also be initiated against them,” he said.

The CM directed KWSB Managing Director (MD) Asadullah Khan to work out a detailed rotation plan and upload it on the water board’s website so that people could know when they would be receiving water. He further directed him to launch an operation against illegal connections and water theft, terming them a big challenge for the KWSB that must be dealt with accordingly.

The CM also urged Ghani to engage the KWSB engineers in maintenance and upgrading of the water distribution system so that 30 per cent line losses and theft could be controlled. “If you succeed in controlling 30 per cent water losses, you would be able to save 174 MGD water which is a big deal,” he told the local government minister.

Rain preparations

The CM said the Pakistan Meteorological Department had issued a forecast of heavy rain starting July 29 in the city. He called for the relevant departments to make necessary arrangements that included cleaning of drains, maintenance of sewerage system and repair of depressions on roads.

Ghani said there were 16 nullahs in the city under the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation (KMC), which had been given Rs500 million last year for maintaining them.

Shah said the KMC must have a working plan for the cleaning of the nullahs before funds could be issued for the job. He added that the corporation should have a complete profile of each nullah, including the details of their length, Katcha and Pacca portions, portions under encroachments, choking points and places where garbage was dumped into them. “Without a detailed engineering plan you cannot clean nullah or maintain them.”

The local government minister informed the CM that he had convened a meeting of all the local bodies of the city to form a comprehensive plan to handle the expected rainstorm efficiently. He said he was in touch with other civic agencies operating in the city so that a joint working plan could be made.

The CM directed Ghani to keep all the local bodies’ relevant staff on alert and check all the troubling points where the rainwater usually accumulated so that they could be repaired properly.

Shah also asked the KWSB to start patrols at bulk transmission system, canals, syphons, conduits, filter plants and the pumping stations of Dhabeji, Gharo, Pipri and North-East Karachi (NEK).

In case of power failure at pumping stations, complaints must be filed with K-Electric immediately so that pumping stations could function smoothly, he said.

The KWSB MD also briefed the CM on the water board’s preparations for the monsoon rain.

The meeting was also attended by Principal Secretary to CM Sajid Jamal Abro, Karachi Commissioner Iftikhar Shallwani, Local Government Secretary Khalid Hyder Shah and others.

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