The water board’s claims to have disconnected the Pakistan Railways on Tuesday over Rs140.8 million in unpaid bills were refuted.
Karachi Water and Sewerage Board Managing Director Misbahuddin Farid told The Express Tribune that they had asked the railways to settle all bills because they needed money for development work. For its part, however, Pakistan Railways Divisional Coordination Officer Kamran Saeed said they were not cut off. The Khyber Mail, scheduled to leave at 10 pm on Tuesday, was being washed. “Kind of proves that there is no water crisis at our end,” he added.
The water board struggles to get people to pay their bills. Bulk water consumers in public and private sectors do not pay their water bills on time, which means the board is stuck in a financial quagmire.
The KWSB is a non-profit public institution. A large number of its residential consumers are defaulters but the board cannot take action against them. “At least profit-earning institutions should not withhold heavy dues,” the MD added.
The KWSB removed eight bulk water supply connections at different places, including Cantt Railway Station and City Railway Station.
Saeed said that the department had issued a cheque of Rs11 million to KWSB on Monday and the remaining dues would also be settled amicably.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 16th, 2011.