KARACHI: Failing distribution and supply system of clean water in the city that has hit almost every part of Karachi during Ramazan is bound to pile miseries on people during the days of Eidul Fitr mainly due to dilapidated infrastructure and inaction of the officials of the Karachi Water and Sewerage Board (KWSB), it emerged on Monday.

While the reports of acute shortage of clean water kept on pouring from every neighbourhood of the city, insiders in the water utility said the transmission and distribution system was not capable to cater to the needs of people as it had completed the designated economic life leading to losses of up to 40 per cent.

There are areas in the city where water had not flowed through the main pipelines for weeks and residents had no option, but to be fleeced by mushrooming water tanker mafia.

While the official rate of a small water tanker is Rs1,300, the tanker mafia has been selling it for Rs2,600.

Residents believe water scarcity is being artificially created to help thrive business of ‘tanker mafia’

A resident of Gulshan-i-Iqbal, Block 13-D, Asif Ali, said his locality had run out of water for a long time and people were compelled to buy water through water tankers at exorbitant prices.

“Water used to flow in pipeline for a couple of hours daily a couple of weeks ago, but now it flows only for an hour and that too only once a week,” he said and added that water could not be obtained in any part of the city without applying suction pumps.

Another resident claimed that water scarcity was being artificially created to help thrive the business of the tanker mafia. “It is obvious that the tanker mafia is mushrooming in the city with the active connivance of the KWSB officials,” he said.

Residents of several localities also complained that the water utility was supplying unhygienic water putting their lives at risk.

“The water utility has made our lives miserable, especially during Ramazan, as we do not get clean water even for ablution,” a resident of Qayyumabad said.

He said that the main pipeline passing through Malir River from Qayyumabad was in a very dilapidated condition and the water flowing through it was mixed with industrial waste from the Korangi Industrial Area.

Another resident, who did not wish to be named, said people lodged several complaints with the KWSB, but to no avail. He said the KWSB staff at pumping stations was also involved in corrupt practices. He alleged that water utility staff did not release water to the vicinity until their palms were greased.

Published in Dawn,May 3rd, 2022

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