KARACHI: Pakistan Peoples Party chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari inaugurated on Tuesday a new pumping station of 100 million gallons per day (mgd) at Dhabeji. Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah and others accompanied him while he was unveiling the plaque.
The PPP chairman asked the Sindh government to construct Haleji Lake Road for the convenience of the people of the area and visitors. After unveiling the plaque of the pumping station, he visited the complex and was briefed by the Karachi Water and Sewerage Board managing director.
Speaking on the occasion, he said the topmost issue for the people of Sindh was the availability of safe drinking water when his party went to the masses and gathered their demands.
The new pumping station would help allay the water woes of the people of Karachi while water would also be supplied to Thatta, Sujawal and Gharo from there, he said.
“Similar projects aimed at improving infrastructure have been initiated elsewhere in Sindh,” said the PPP leader. He said new lines had been laid on thousands of kilometres in the province.
CM vows to supply 260mgd more water to Karachi soon
Mr Bhutto-Zardari appreciated CM Shah declaring that he was the “most efficient” chief minister in the country.
Murad Ali Shah said the Council of Common Interests’ meeting was not summoned within a year and when it was called its minutes were delayed and when the minutes were finally released they were deliberately written in a “manipulative” manner to further delay the implementation of the decisions taken in the meeting.
“This is how things are moving but even then we will continue to struggle to get the due rights of the people of Sindh,” he said.
Provincial ministers Saeed Ghani, Syed Nasir Shah and Murtaza Baloch; advisers Murtaza Wahab and Aijaz Shah Shirazi; senior officials and party workers of Thatta, Sujawal and Karachi attended the ceremony.
Mr Shah said that after a hue and cry for over a year, a CCI meeting was convened. The minutes of the meeting were delayed for around one month and when the minutes were released, he found them “hotchpotch”, thus, he sent them back after necessary corrections.
He thanked Mr Bhutto-Zardari who, within a month, inaugurated the third phase of the development schemes and projects.
“You had inaugurated roads and underpasses in Karachi twice within 15 days and now after another two weeks you have inaugurated the newly established 100mgd pumping house,” he said.
He added that the people of Hyderabad had also requested the party chairman to inaugurate their water supply, sanitation and road sector projects.
Syed Murad Ali Shah announced that the PPP chief would soon perform the stone-laying ceremony of Ghotki-Kashmore bridge on the Indus. “This would be a third bridge on the river being constructed by our government from its own resources,” he said.
Murad jeers at PTI ministers
The chief minister said some federal ministers were fond of unveiling plaques of already launched projects while “some of them have broken the nameplates of projects”.
“If you are so interested in performing inaugurations of projects then come to Sindh, here we have completed a lot of schemes and we do not have time to inaugurate them,” he said.
“We will give you a chance to inaugurate our schemes, and as a matter of fact, you are in a habit of inaugurating schemes that other governments had completed.”
About the 100mgd pumping station, Mr Shah said all its machinery, including motors, had been imported from Germany.
“These are four pumping machines, each with a capacity of 25mgd, thus, the total capacity comes to 100mgd,” he said, calling it good news for the people of Karachi.
Mr Shah disclosed that 260mgd additional water was available in the system for Karachi but due to lack of the required infrastructure and defective conveyance system that water could not be provided to the city.
“At present, Karachi is being provided 450mgd and with the commission of the new 100mgd pumping house, 50mgd additional water would be added for Karachi. It means from the Keenjhar source the city will receive a total of 500mgd,” he said.
CM Shah added that Karachi was receiving 100mgd from the Hub source but due to defects in the canal, line losses had gone up to 30mgd.
The chief minister said he had held a meeting and approved renovation, revamping and reconstruction of the canal from Hub to Karachi West district to ensure 100mgd was brought to the city. Thus, the KWSB would be able to provide 600mgd to the city soon.
“We are constructing the K-IV project in collaboration with the federal government and all bottlenecks and design defects, if any, would be removed soon,” he said.
Officials said the pumping station constructed under phase-I was originally commissioned in 1959. It had 1,400 horsepower motor pumps operating on diesel and gas. This old pumping station was manufactured by a German company and its pumps were still being operated or used with extensive repairs but its efficiency or capacity had deteriorated.
They said the old pumping station constructed in 1959 under phase-I of the Greater Karachi Bulk Water Supply scheme (K-I phase-I) had outlived its design life and had been in operation for the last 60 years. Therefore, the officials added, the government decided to construct the new pump house in its place. The new pump house has the capacity of 100mgd and it would add 50mgd to the system which was not being supplied to the city due to old machines.
Published in Dawn, January 22nd, 2020