KARACHI: Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah on Sunday formed a high-powered task force to take action against the menace of water theft as well as illegal hydrants and to plug leakages in the system of the Karachi Water and Sewerage Board (KWSB).

In less than a week, Mr Shah chaired a second meeting on the issue of water shortages in the city at the CM House and instructed the members of the task force to launch operation in next two days.

He made Local Government Minister Syed Nasir Shah as the head of the task force. Other members would include Karachi police chief, commissioner, deputy commissioners concerned, CM’s Special Assistant Waqar Mehdi, KWSB vice chairman Najmi Alam and others.

It was decided that the task force would be accompanied by police, Rangers and officials of the anti-encroachment departments to take a decisive action against illegal connections and water hydrants.

CM annoyed over KWSB for presenting ‘hypothetical figures’

The meeting was attended by provincial ministers Saeed Ghani, Nasir Shah, Sharjeel Memon, Chief Secretary Sohail Rajput, Planning and Development chairman Hassan Naqvi, LG Secretary Najam Shah and other senior officials.

Briefing the meeting, the LG secretary said that the KWSB infrastructure started from Keenjhar Lake to bulk water supply network taking water to reservoirs and pumps for distribution.

KWSB officials replied in the negative when the chief minister asked them about installation of meters at the main source. The CM observed that all the figures of receiving water and line losses or theft were hypothetical.

He directed the KWSB to start installing meters to gauge the water being provided to the city from Keenjhar up to the distribution system so that accurate figures could be obtained to calculate the losses.

He was of the view that a monitoring system for justified water supply across the city based on number of population of every neighbourhood was badly needed.

He directed the water board to prepare a town-wise water distribution plan keeping in view the population of the area. “If a town has more population, it should be given more water than the town having less population,” he said.

The CM said that a similar meter system should be established right from Hub source up to its distribution system in district West.

He also directed the KWSB to prepare a monitoring and data logging system.

Mapping of areas based on existing demand and supply may also be established with the help of NED University, he said, adding that alternative design for ample water supply for all the areas based on population demand using hydraulic modelling was the way forward to resolve the water issue of the city.

He also directed the water board to develop a GIS (Geographic Information System) based application for water management for KWSB water supply system.

Published in Dawn, May 9th, 2022

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