KARACHI: A hefty grant of Rs160 million has been approved for the ill-managed Karachi Water and Sewerage Board (KWSB) to provide water through 1,000 tankers to the city’s water-starved localities on a daily basis.
The grant-in-aid was approved by Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah while chairing a meeting to discuss water shortage in Karachi on Thursday. Local Government Minister Sharjeel Memon informed the meeting that a short-term solution to the city’s water problem was to provide water to the affected areas through a tanker service.
“I have started this exercise by sending 200 tankers — costing Rs500 each for fuel and fare of a tanker — and it is providing relief to some extent,” he said.
The CM asked him to make necessary arrangements to supply 1,000 water tankers daily in the city and for the purpose he was releasing Rs160m immediately.
“I want you not only to supply the tankers but get pumps of the Dhabeji station and other areas repaired within four days.”
Karachi Commissioner Shoaib Siddiqui informed the chief minister that in coordination with the KWSB chief he would evolve a mechanism for a judicious distribution of water tankers in the affected areas.
Sindh Chief Secretary Siddique Memon directed the KWSB to involve all the deputy commissioners and assistant commissioners so that water could reach the poor and affected people.
KWSB Managing Director Hashim Raza Zaidi informed the meeting about a shortage of 500 million gallon water daily in the city.
“This issue would be solved when Rs25 billion K-4 water supply schemes are completed,” he said, adding that presently the worst-hit areas included Baldia Town, Orangi Town, North Karachi, Surjani Town and Manghopir.
The chief minister said that he would lay the foundation stone of the K-4 water supply project, said to be a long-term solution to the city’s water problems, next month and would personally request the prime minister to release its matching grant.
The additional chief secretary (development) suggested that the valve system previously used in the water distribution system be revived.
For the purpose, the CM directed the KWSB chief to work out the expenditures for the repair of valves.
The meeting was also attended by an official of a private company, who briefed the chief minister that 16, out of total 18, reverse osmosis (RO) plants were functional.
He said that his company could provide 13mgd water to the KWSB “if seawater is provided to them”.
The chief minister directed the local government minister and the chief secretary to make necessary arrangements to provide seawater to the RO plants so that the plants could be operated at their maximum level.
He also directed the minister and chief secretary to submit a compliance report within a week.
Published in Dawn, May 15th, 2015