KARACHI: The Supreme Court on Thursday dismissed 24 applications seeking operation of water hydrants and observed that functioning of illegal water hydrants would not be permitted in the city.A three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar was hearing a suo motu case on failure of the Karachi Water Sewerage Board (KWSB) to remove water hydrants operating illegally in the city.Justice Faisal Arab and Justice Sajjad Ali Shah were the other two members of the bench that was hearing the case at its Karachi registry.During the hearing the KWSB managing director submitted a report, informing the court that 187 hydrants were demolished with the assistance of Rangers and Police on the court’s directives. The report said that the water provider had disconnected 2,130 illegal water connections from different parts of Karachi.The court was informed that 137 cases were lodged since January 2017 out of which 44 were registered at Saeedabad police station, 37 at Manghoir police station, and 27 at Peerabad police station.The report said that as many as 265 suspects were arrested on the charges of water theft out which four were convicted and 14 acquitted. Justice Nisar asked the KWSB chief Hashim Raza Zaidi what action was taken against the board’s employee Rashid Siddique who was involved in allowing those illegal hydrants.”He (the employee) was demoted,” MD replied. “It’s your responsibility to remove illegal water hydrants in the city,” the CJP asked Zaidi while directing him to submit his written statement that the action will be taken against the officers involved in water theft. Published in Daily Times, December 8th 2017.