KARACHI: The free water tanker service supplying water to the chief minister, governor, judges and other public officials has been suspended for now.
The Karachi Water and Sewerage Board (KWSB) told the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) on Thursday that these officials are now being charged for this service. During a PAC meeting held with MPA Saleem Raza Jalbani in chair, the KWSB officials presented a long list of outstanding dues and expressed their helplessness in recovering the amount.
“Various federal and provincial government departments and institutions owe more than Rs5 billion to KWSB and, despite many reminders, they are not paying the amount,” complained KWSB managing director Misbah Fariduddin. The Karachi Port Trust, Pakistan Steel Mill, Port Qasim, Jinnah hospital, Pakistan Railways and Airport Security Force (ASF) are among other organisations that have bills pending.
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The PAC chairperson asked his staff to write to the chief minister and the Sindh governor to help recover this amount. He asked the water utility board to disconnect water connections if they fail to pay the amount. “It has not been our policy to cut the connection of hospitals, prisons or other institutions that provide emergency services but we have now decided to sever these connections,” he remarked.
The meeting was also informed that there were a total 1.7 million registered water consumers in the city out of them only 0.5 million pay the bills.
Ever since the free service was suspended, Rangers and CM House have been paying their bills on time. The KWSB chief clarified that the free service has been suspended to all public institutions and officials.
On ASF dues, Farid said, “It owes Rs0.7 million to us and the same amount is pending against Shah Faisal Town committees, which have failed to give proper response despite notices”. Jalbani advised him to cut off these connections without any delay.
Published in The Express Tribune, February 17th, 2017.
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