With onset of summer, Karachi witnesses acute water shortage

With onset of summer, Karachi witnesses acute water shortage

KARACHI: Not in any remote village of Thar Desert, but in the middle of the Pakistan's biggest city of Karachi, Faiza spends many hours everyday in search of water, as their colony doesn't have drinking water connections officially, as it is a slum and government think that if they are given legal connections, inhabitants will claim for the land they live on .

Machar Colony, Karachi biggest slum with around 1 million population, majority of them are, what they call them 'illegal immigrants', located just beside the Karachi Port, lacks basic facilities such as sanitation, drinking water, paved streets and natural gas connections.

There is not a single pipeline for drinking water and some of the residents have tampered a major pipeline passing beside the Maripur road and they get the water through motor pumps and they sell it to the residents of the colony through pipes. These pipes are mostly lying on the huge size of sewage nullah with chocked bed with garbage and solid waste. Sometimes, some one sets the garbage on fire and these pipes get burnt too, due to which the motor pumps start sucking sewage with water.

Though the colony suffers water shortage on regular basis, but with on set of summer, the shortage is worsened. In such conditions, Faiza has to spend several hours every day in search of water. She walks out of her colony and roams in different colonies of Lyari town in search of water.

"There are few shops inside our colony, which sell water, but the price is high and I can't pay for that, therefore I have to go out of the colony and find water every day," Bengali speaking Faiza told Daily Times.

Though, Machar Colony is a slum but even other areas of the city, like Lines Area, Organi Town, Akhtar Colony, Mehmoodabad, Azam Basti, Gulstan-e-Johar, Saddar and other areas are also witnessing acute water shortage with the onset of summer.

"Either we don't get water at all and if sometimes it comes, it is late in the night, therefore most of the people have to wake up to fill up the water and thus they can't go for work on the next day," said Muhammad Usman of Lines Area.

With summer approaching, Karachiites have started facing water shortage mainly due to the rift between the Karachi Water and Sewerage Board (KWSB) and K-Electric (KE).

MD, KWSB, Syed Hashim Raza Zaidi has written to CEO-K-Electric that before the summer season set-in, noticeable deterioration in power supply situation has been experienced at KW&SB's main water pumping facility at Dhabeji.

"It is regretted to complain that only during the current week the fluctuating of power supply has taken toll severe damage to various heavy duty pumps besides huge system losses and drastic reduction of water supply to Karachi city ", he added.

The MD stated this in a letter to CEO -K-Electric that this undesirable episode that triggered all of a sudden on 27-03-2017 at 7.55 am with jerks of power supply jolted the whole pumping operations at Dhabeji.

The power fluctuation continued as yet with intervals during the day and night resulting in the pumping loss of up-to 10 percent water each time. The total loss of water supply to Karachi has reached to 200 MGD so far and 2 sets of heavy pumps have panelized due to power disruption and fluctuation.

Zaidi informed K-Electric that that at least 24 hours are required to bring the water supply to normal on occurrences of such incidents. The bulk water supply is completely dependent of unimpeded power supply and is exposed to the potential threats and damages due to faulty power transmission system.

"The power fluctuations have a devastating impact, causing huge financial burden on KW&SB for operation and maintenance and face a scary situation in respect of water supply to Karachi", said Zaidi.

He wrote that K-Electric tangentially has a very pivotal role to maintain the supply of water by ensuring smooth power transmission and is expected to come up with more professional and technical solution to overcome the deficiencies and make the system effective and proficient.

MD-KW&SB has requested K-Electric to ensure uninterrupted and un-fluctuated power supply at Dhabeji Pumping Station in the interest of smooth water operations for Karachi.

Apart from the rift between the departments on the supply of the water, those areas which get water are also suffering as they are given contaminated water.