A city already facing energy crisis like the rest of Pakistan is countering another menace by the name of ‘water crisis’ with water tanker mafia emerging as the only beneficiary.
Reports suggest that almost 70 percent of Karachi is without water with Malir, Korangi, Orangi Town, SITE, Metroville, North Karachi, Landhi, Shireen Jinnah Colony, Baldia Town among the worst hit areas where even drinking water is not available.
Moreover, the continuous load shedding at pumping stations including Dhabeji is making the situation worse.
Even the posh areas of Karachi including Defence Housing Society and Clifton are no exception as they are buying bottled water for drinking purpose and arranging water tankers for other needs.
Tanker operators across the city are fleecing the buyers by charging exorbitant prices turning the shortage into a full blown crisis.
–Memon, Siddiqui warn K-Electric-
ARY News has learnt that Commissioner Karachi Shoaib Ahmed Siddqui has taken notice of the situation and has directed K-Electric to immediately stop load shedding at pumping stations.
In a statement issued on Wednesday, Sindh Information and Local Bodies Minister Sharjeel Memon stated that the government would take legal action against the power company as the loadshedding disturbed the supply of water to millions of consumers as it may also disturb the law and order situation in the city.
Senator Nasreen Jalil of Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) presented an adjournment motion in the Senate highlighting the crisis. She told the upper house of the parliament that a mega project K-4 was lying pending in the files for years.
A report authored by late Parveen Rahman of the Orangi Pilot Project (OPP) back in 2008 and published in a local newspaper suggested that Karachi’s water tanker mafia, which generates an estimated Rs49.6 billion annually, siphons off over 272mgd — or 41 per cent — of the water from the city’s bulk distribution system every day and then sells the commodity at exorbitant rates to residents and industries suffering from the water scarcity that is largely caused by the activities of the water tanker mafia itself.
Provincial Minister Sharjeel Memon also warned the tankers mafia for overcharging the citizens and directed the authorities to take action against the mafia. He also appealed to the people to complain on phone numbers 02199203442-99245138-99245139-99245140 and 111-115-972 if they are being overcharged.
-Always without water-
Call it ‘negligence’ or corruption, citizens in various localities of Nazimabad, Liaquatabad and Old City area are without water despite paying KWSB bills for a long time.
Citizens residing in such areas either buy water or rely on bore water from their own water wells.
A survey report of Pakistan Council of Research in Water Resources (PCRWR) published in 2012 revealed that water supply schemes are providing piped water supply for drinking purposes to meet household needs and for other multiple uses to an enumerated population of 11.716 million persons on 1,247 surveyed water schemes.
Now fact is that 58 per cent of the schemes are not functioning properly and, as a result, nearly 47 per cent of the total population remains not served by the water supply schemes.
The report also said that more than 10,000 people die every year in Karachi because of renal infection caused by contaminated water.