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KARACHI: Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah on Sunday gave emergency water management plan to the Karachi Water and Sewerage Board (KWSB) to meet a shortage of drinking water.

He directed Chief Secretary Rizwan Memon to look after implementation of the plan and provide funds for its execution.

The plan includes directives to the KWSB to provide water to the affected areas of the city and set up 100 more fibre tanks in the West district for storing one million gallons of water.

The chief minister, who was presiding over a high-level meeting at the committee room of the finance department to counter water shortage problems, expressed displeasure over learning from South Deputy Commissioner Asif Jameel that two RO plants in Lyari (at Ahmed Shah area and Civil Line-Shireen Jinnah Colony) had stopped working as their power connection was disconnected.

Mr Shah immediately directed KWSB MD Khalid Shaikh to get the plants operational by Monday (today).

“I want you to clear their bills, make them operational and send the report to me by Monday evening,” he said.

The CM also directed all deputy commissioners to establish more water tanks and inform the water board how much water they required in their respective districts so that the water board could make necessary arrangements for that.

Earlier, Local Government Minister Jam Khan Shoro told the CM that the main sources of water for Karachi were Keenjhar lake (Indus river) and Hub dam from where water was pumped through three main bulk pumping stations located at Dhabeji, Gharo and Hub.

“About 550MGD are supplied from the Indus and 100MGD from the Hub in normal circumstances,” he said and pointed out that population of the city was 17 million.

MD Khalid Shaikh said the present water supply from the Indus was 450MGD and 30MGD from the Hub dam.

The chief minister said he had reports that there was a shortage of water in Orangi Town, Baldia, SITE, Gadap and Nazimabad.

The MD said the areas depended on the Hub dam, whose water level had fallen to 30MGD from 115MGD.

West Deputy Commissioner Tariq Chandio said the water board provided 300MGD of water to West district through tankers which were insufficient.

Mr Shah directed the water board to provide one million gallons of water to West district.

“This water will be provided through tankers and distributed by the deputy commissioner,” he added.

Mr Chandio further said there were only 257 water tanks in the district.

Published in Dawn, April 23rd, 2018