THE water supply to DHA residents has remained disturbed due to the ambiguous policies of the Cantonment Board Clifton (CBC) ever since the water bowsers were transferred under its control.

In the beginning, the bowsers were given for free, but subsequently a charge of Rs500 per bowser was fixed. The CBC then introduced a first-come-first-served policy which facilitated only a small number of people as the majority of them were turned down. Further, the factor of ‘hardship case’ was never clearly defined by the CBC.

I have tried to get a bowser several times, but have failed most of the time. CBC officials usually come on inspection trips when water is supplied to the area — or vice versa — and they disregard complaints of the area residents, reasoning that enough water was being supplied.

The CBC must think about ways to make the water supply arrangement transparent. It should first figure out the number of bowsers it can supply to each house across a year, and then ask the residents if they are interested in buying them.

The charges should be clearly mentioned in the annual tax challan and payable on a monthly basis. If some residents do not want to buy water through the bowsers, they need not pay the charges.

Also, the CBC can slightly increase its rate to up to Rs800 for a bowser of 1,000 gallons which will still be lesser than the rate charged by the water mafia.

The ‘hardship cases’ can always buy water from the mafia that supplies it within a matter of hours.

A.G. Habib
Karachi

Published in Dawn, June 18th, 2021

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