KARACHI: The Sindh High Court on Tuesday directed the Karachi Water and Sewerage Board to file a comprehensive report regarding the policy and planning to provide water to different parts of the city, especially the areas of Defence Housing Authority (DHA) and Cantonment Board Clifton (CBC).

A two-judge bench headed by Justice Syed Hasan Azhar Rizvi also sought replies from the water utility and the CBC along with the personal affidavits of the KWSB chief engineer and executive officer of CBC on one of the identical petitions till the next hearing.

When the bench took up for hearing three identical petitions filed against an additional levy on water and inadequate facility of clean water in DHA and Clifton, the CBC filed a statement in compliance with an earlier order about bowser service charges, map of hydrants in CBC, detail of pumping stations, location of underground/overhead tanks with capacities and bulk flow diagram.

It took the statement on record and copies were provided to the lawyers for the petitioners.

SHC wants to know who determines water quantity to be supplied in different city areas

The bench in its order said that a KWSB official had failed to answer the query made by the judges regarding the supply of adequate water in the area of DHA.

However, the KWSB chief engineer assured the bench that a comprehensive report related to policy and planning of supply of water to different parts of the metropolis particularly in the areas of DHA and Clifton will be filed on the next date of hearing.

The bench directed the KWSB that the report must also contain the parameters of water supply to the city and whether supply of water was being made on the basis of the population of the areas or any other ground.

“Who is the authority to determine to supply water and its quantity in the different areas? Name and designation of such authority is to be submitted in the report regarding supply of water in different areas of Karachi particularity the area of DHA/Clifton,” the bench stated in its order.

The CBC in its report stated that there were 58 pumping stations and 44 vehicles for the bowser section and around 770 bowsers being delivered daily while 25 underground and 18 overhead tanks got the capacity of 13,255 MGD.

Per trip cost of a bowser is around Rs900 and a subsidy of Rs150 per trip is being offered to the residents, it added.

The bench adjourned the hearing for a date to be later fixed by its office and said that the earlier interim order on the application of a former attorney general to continue till the next hearing.

Former attorney general Anwar Mansoor Khan, who is one of the petitioners, had filed a bill of Rs9,000 issued by the CBC and DHA claiming service charges for supply of water through water bowsers and the bench through an interim order had restrained the CBC and DHA from claiming any water supply charges from Mr Khan till next hearing.

Around 95 residents of DHA and CBC filed three petitions in the SHC stating that they had been paying annual water levy regularly, but the respondents failed to provide adequate water to them and other residents.

Published in Dawn, May 18th, 2022

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