KARACHI: Fed up of its financial woes, the Karachi Water and Sewerage Board (KWSB) does not want to spare anyone now. In its latest announcement, the water municipality has called on thousands of mosques and Imambargahs across the city to clear their outstanding water bills.
“Most of the mosques and Imambargahs do not pay their bills, adding to the financial woes of the KWSB,” the board’s managing director, Misbahuddin Farid, said in a statement issued on Sunday.
The KWSB runs a deficit between Rs600 million and Rs700 million every month as it struggles to make consumers pay their bills or convince the government to raise the water tariff. Financial constraints have restricted its ability to finance key projects, including the Rs29 billion K-IV scheme, which envisages bringing 260 million gallons of water (MGD) per day to the city.
“Almost 95 per cent of an estimated 200,000 mosques and Imambargahs don’t pay us anything,” he said. “A lot of water is consumed at religious institutions, including seminaries. It is fair to ask them to foot the bill.”
Farid requested the prayer leaders at mosques to ask people to avoid unnecessary use of water at the religious institutions. “It is our collective responsibility to make sure that we don’t waste water during ablution (Wuzu),” he said.
Karachi’s total water demand stands at 1,080 MGD while the supply hovers around 640 MGD. For various water and sewerage schemes, the KWSB is dependent on the provincial and federal governments for funding, which is almost always delayed.
The KWSB has asked the in-charges of mosques and Imambargahs to register their institutions by contacting the utility’s deputy managing director recovery at 021-99245142.
Published in The Express Tribune, January 28th, 2013.