Monsoon spell: After battling extended power outages, Karachiites hit with water shortage

Updated July 31, 2019

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The Pakistan Army is assisting in a drainage operation underway at the KDA grid. — DawnNewsTV
The Pakistan Army is assisting in a drainage operation underway at the KDA grid. — DawnNewsTV
The Pakistan Army is assisting in a drainage operation underway at the KDA grid. — DawnNewsTV
The Pakistan Army is assisting in a drainage operation underway at the KDA grid. — DawnNewsTV

After two days of sporadic showers and extended power outages, the water supply to large parts of Karachi has been disrupted due to the shutdown of an important pumping station.

According to a spokesperson for the Karachi Water and Sewerage Board (KWSB), electricity supply to the North-East Karachi (NEK) pump has been disrupted after the grid station supplying it was flooded with rainwater.

He said power had been suspended since 8:35pm on Tuesday, as a result of which the pumping of water from the NEK pump had also stopped.

As per the KWSB spokesperson, they were unable to provide 160 million gallons of to water various parts of the city. Gulistan-i-Jauhar, New Karachi, North Karachi and Scheme 33 were completely affected by the disruption while Gulshan-i-Iqbal was partially affected.

While asking citizens to conserve available water, he said that as soon as the electricity supply is restored, the provision of water will resume.

Extended power cuts

A large number of neighbourhoods in the city had remained in darkness on Tuesday night. According to K-Electric, owing to an overflow of Lath Dam, the situation had turned critical for the KDA Grid station.

"Monsoon downpour has caused Lath Dam near Super Highway to overflow. The floodwater has entered K-Electric’s KDA Grid station, located at Gulzar-e-Hijri Scheme 33, one of the most critical grids of KE’s 220kV grid and an interconnection point between KE and NTDC," said a statement shared by the power provider on Facebook late Tuesday.

"As an emergency safety measure, we are forced to suspend supply to feeders associated with this grid. This has affected power supply to parts of Sohrab Goth, Abulhassan Isphahani Road, Super Highway, KWSB’s NEK Pumping station among few others," the statement continued.

A spokesperson for K-Electric today said that restoration work on the KDA grid had been sped up and power in the affected areas would soon be restored.

He said that due to flooding in the grid, the electricity supply had been stopped and added that once it was restored, the provision of electricity would improve.

The spokesperson said that K-Electric was grateful to the Pakistan Army for assistance in the drainage process.

The Pakistan Army is also assisting in a drainage operation underway at the Super Highway using heavy machinery.

Meanwhile, KWSB managing director Asadullah Khan said that water levels in the Hub Dam had risen by 12 feet due to the rain. Khan said that now the water level in the dam was 308 feet, adding that there was enough water now stored in the dam for the western district until December 2020. He also said that water was continuing to flow into the dam.

Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah also directed provincial Minister for Local Government Saeed Ghani to head to Hyderabad — that has also been hit by rain — to oversee the drainage of water from the city. Shah also instructed Ghani to formulate a plan to repair roads after the city is cleared.

Army personnel is also assisting in the drainage of water from Latifabad, Mehar Ali Housing Scheme, Qasimabad and Phuleli areas.


Additional reporting by Asim Khan, Imtiaz Ali and Mohammad Hussain Khan