KARACHI: Residents of Fatima Jinnah Colony, part of defunct Jamshed Town, have appealed to the Karachi Water and Sewerage Board (KWSB) to take immediate notice of a broken water pipeline and supply of sewage-mixed water to their locality.

The area residents claimed that the underground water line in question located at Qureshi Chowk had been leaking for the past many years and the matter had been brought to the attention of the utility agency many times.

“Earlier, the leakage was under the ground but now the water has been flowing on the road for the past 12 days after the line got damaged in digging carried out for fixing a gutter,” said Yousuf, an area resident.

Residents also claimed that the locality received water supply intermittently and often mixed with sewage.

“These days the water not only stinks but has got insects in it. We have written to the relevant KWSB officials about these issues but none have bothered to visit the area,” said Rizwan, another resident.

When contacted, a KWSB spokesperson said the utility would address water-related problems on an “urgent” basis.

“Our water network comprises old and new water lines, and fixing them is part of our daily exercise. The leakage in question couldn’t be eight years old as being claimed by residents,” Rizwan Haider, representing the KWSB, said.

He also criticised citizens for ‘encroachment’ on water and sewage lines which prevented the utility staff from carrying out their regular maintenance.

Water supplies to Karachi, he said, would increase in coming weeks. “The city would get 52mgd to 60mgd additional supply from Dec 10. This has been achieved after the utility replaced its old pumps at the Dhabeji pumping station,” he said.

Asked about the management of water shortages, he said the KWSB managed them through rationing its supplies.

“Besides, we have six legal hydrants located at Sherpao Colony, Nipa, Safoora Goth, Manghopir and Bhains Colony. While the utility has outsourced the management of these hydrants, the government rates for residential use are fixed by the Supreme Court-mandated water commission set up in 2016.”

People could also take help from a KWSB app for requesting a water tanker (kwsb.ots).

Water shortages affect more than half of the city’s population.

The KWSB data shows a huge gap between water demand and supply.

Published in Dawn, November 27th, 2019

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