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City goes dry as KESC, KWSB in blame game over outages

July 10, 2012

KARACHI, July 9: The Karachi Electric Supply Company and the Karachi Water and Sewerage Board on Monday became involved in a war of words over what was described as a 32-hour outage at the Pipri pumping station that caused a shortage of 140 million gallons of water to the city.

The KWSB had claimed that the Pipri pumping station had been without power since 4am on Sunday as a result of which Karachi experienced a shortage of 140 MGD of water that hit Landhi, Korangi, Malir, Bin Qasim, Korangi Creek, Qayyumabad, Kashmir Colony and DHA.

However, holding the KWSB responsible for what it described as an internal cable fault, the KESC made it clear that there had been no power outage at the Pipri pumping station from its end during the past couple of days.

The KWSB claimed that daily four to five hours of loadshedding or so-called technical faults that were becoming too frequent were also responsible for their losing water pressure at their Dhabeji, Gharo, Damloti, North East and other pumping stations.

The water utility asked the KESC to depute able technical staff who can quickly fix the faults cropping up in their plants in order to ensure uninterrupted power to the water board as per the orders of the Sindh High Court.

It also appealed to the Sindh governor and the chief minister and other relevant authorities to take guarantee from the KESC to do the same.

The SHC had on April 24 prevented the KESC from disconnecting power supply to the KWSB’s sensitive spots.

Denying the KWSB claim of the 32-hour-long outage, the KESC said that the faulty internal cables inside Gharo, Dhabeji and Pipri pumping stations had been causing repeated tripping of the power supply feeders but the KWSB authorities had not taken any concrete action towards the replacement of these cables.

It said that the power supply feeder actually tripped several times because of the water board’s internal cable fault as there had been no issue experienced at the KESC’s end.

A statement issued by the KESC on Monday said: “After the tripping of the feeder did not stop, KESC asked the water board authorities to first ensure smooth functioning of their internal cables and then write to the power utility to resume its supply. It took some time for the water board authorities to rectify their internal fault after which power supply could be restored.”

It said that the water pumping stations were completely exempted of loadshedding as a public service but the water board was adamant on using the old faulty internal cables, which had been causing great trouble to the power supply system.

The frequent tripping of power supply feeders had been taking place due to the internal faults of pumping station cables but the KWSB had not been able to maintain or replace its internal infrastructure.

The KESC also said that the responsibility of the power utility ended at the point where the internal cables started at any residence, business place, industry or water pumping station.

The KESC reiterated its earlier offer of sharing the cost of cable replacement and asked the water board authorities to take an early decision in that respect so as to permanently rid the power utility as well as the citizens of this frequent issue.