The Pakistan Rangers Sindh announced on Tuesday that action has been taken against the theft of water, which includes shutting off 150 illegal hydrants and 1,200 illegal connections.
The actions, according to the paramilitary force’s Brig Kabeer Ahmed and Karachi Water and Sewerage Corporation (KWSC) Managing Director Salahuddin Ahmed, resulted in savings of 100MGD (million gallons daily).
In a joint press conference at the Rangers headquarters, the officials said the water was being stolen for commercial and domestic use, causing the loss of around Rs13 billion.
Stolen water was being sold to industrial and domestic consumers at more than two or three times the official rate, resulting in a hefty loss of billions of rupees to KWSC per month.
The theft of water affected the residents of several localities like Baldia, Site, Keamari and Lyari.
Operations against water theft were started Sept 17 by paramilitary forces and KWSC, the Rangers official said.
Actions were taken against illegal hydrants, pumping stations, illegal connections and the tanker “mafia”.
“As a result of these operations, the supply of water has been improved to a large extent in different areas of the metropolis,” said Brig Ahmed, specifically Clifton, Orangi, Qasba Colony, New Karachi, Gadap and Baldia.
He added that efforts were still under way to provide the full benefit of these operations to the masses.
“A major part of the operation against illegal hydrants has been completed and now action would be taken against illegal connections,” vowed the Rangers official.
This action was being carried out against the “water mafia” without any discrimination, claimed the official.
While some illegal hydrants were being destroyed, certain connections were being regularised as per laws where necessary.
The Rangers official said a major mode of water theft was related to underground drinking water (sub-surface) from where water was being obtained through illegal connections of motors.
A total of 93 operations against 187 illegal hydrants have been conducted, out of which, 24 illegal water hydrants were sealed while 163 others were destroyed. During these actions, a total of 163 persons were arrested against whom FIRs have been registered.
Due to these operations, approximately 20pc of the water being stolen has returned back to the supply system of KWSC.
Disruption to the supply system has also been reduced, resulting in an increase in the supply of water, he said.
The officials said that around one thousand additional water tankers have been registered by the KWSC which would provide water to the citizens on the official rate.
They urged the citizens to register themselves at KWSC to get water at an official rate.
“Sindh Rangers in collaboration with the KWSC will continue [these] operations until all water theft is eliminated,” the Rangers official said.