KARACHI: Residents of Clifton and Defence Housing Authority, who have been facing an acute water shortage for years, may breathe a sigh of relief as caretaker Chief Minister retired Justice Maqbool Baqar on Friday approved Rs2.1 billion for laying a 24-inch diameter dedicated pipeline from Dumlottee to the salubrious parts of the city.

While presiding over a meeting to review water shortage and sanitation issues in the city, he directed the Karachi Water and Sewerage Corporation (KWSC) to immediately complete the formalities and start work on the project.

The meeting was held at CM House and attended among others by Mayor Murtaza Wahab, finance secretary Kazim Jatoi, local government secretary Manzoor Shaikh, commissioner Saleem Rajput, transport secretary Asad Zaim, Municipal Commissioner Afzal Zaidi and KWSC chief executive officer Syed Salahuddin.

The chief minister said that the DHA was in dire need of water and the residents’ requirement must be met.

Talking to Dawn, the water utility chief said that the utility was providing five to six million gallons of water (MGD) daily to the DHA through a pipeline from Chakra Goth pumping station and around 3MGD was being supplied through water tankers, while the vicinity’s requirement was up to 17MGD.

KWSC chief says work on new line from Dumlottee will be completed in 12 to 14 months

He said as per a memorandum of understanding (MoU) between the Cantonment Board Clifton (CBC) and water utility, the DHA supply quota was nine MGD. “The agreement will be revised after laying of the pipeline from Dumlottee,” he said and added that the project would cost around Rs3 billion and complete in 12 to 14 months.

It may be recalled that early last month, the Sindh High Court was informed that the KWSC had suggested to the Cantonment Board Clifton (CBC) to lay a dedicated pipeline from Dumlottee in order to permanently address the issue of water shortage in the Defence Housing Authority (DHA) and Clifton. However, the CBC was not in favour of the proposal due to financial constraints, the KWSC had stated in a compliance report filed before the court.

Other water schemes in city

The CM was told that Karachi had an approved water quota of 1,200 cusecs (650 MGD) from the Indus River, conveyed through the KWSC system. He was informed that the existing bulk water supply system includes canals, conduits, pumping stations, and filter plants for the transportation of water to Karachi.

The mayor said that the project aimed at utilising the available 65MGD capacity from Keenjhar Gujjo Canal, adding that the project had an exclusive right of way (RoW), which was available and has no encumbrance.

The CM directed the planning and development department to approve the scheme within 10 days and directed the finance department to release Rs4.5 billion so that work on the project could be started.

The meeting participants were informed that SITE Industrial Area was one of the largest areas having water requirement of 50MGD against which 1.63MGD was being supplied to them.

They meet their water requirement from their internal distribution system which is linked with the Karachi Water and Sewerage Corporation network through seven bulk connections namely Walika hospital, SITE Post Office, Salika industries, Tofique Paints, Paracha roundabout, Brook Bond and Gulbai.

The CM directed the water board to improve its system by replacing its old lines and rehabilitate Nazimabad pumping station so that at least 6 MGD water could be supplied to SITE.

He approved Rs2.1 billion for the water supply to SITE Ltd.

Published in Dawn, December 23rd, 2023

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