KARACHI: Water supply to the entire city was suspended for up to 18 hours on Monday after the Karachi Water and Sewerage Board (KWSB) halted the supply on the request of the National Transmission and Dispatch Company (NTDC) due to technical work.
However, despite the apparent resumption of power at the water pumping stations, normal water supply in the city is not expected to be resumed for the next 48 hours.
Commenting on the matter on behalf of the water board’s managing director, spokesperson Rizwan Hyder said that the NTDC had been requesting that the supply be shut off for three days for the past week, however the KWSB head declined the request due to the heatwave in the city.
He added that NTDC needed to carry on technical work in the region of Pipri, Dhabeji and Gharo, therefore, after several requests, the KWSB head only agreed to turn off supply for 12 hours – from 6am to 6pm. He said the supply would soon be resumed.
More than 90% of the water in the city is supplied from the Dhabeji and Pipri pumping stations and, apart from the recent suspension, it is not uncommon for water supply to be suspended due to electric power outages or leakages in pipelines.
The K-Electric spokesperson said the NTDC requested the shutdown for 12 hours to complete maintenance work on their 500 kilovolt line. As soon as the NTDC’s maintenance work concluded, electricity supply to Gharo and Dhabeji was restored, he claimed, adding that prior to the suspension an agreement was reached between the KWSB and NTDC.
The water board spokesperson explained that the NTDC was working on the 500kv line in Gharo to connect it to its 1,320 megawatt power plant.
This news did not, however, pacify residents, who were already angered by the water shortage in the city. Haneef Ahmed, a resident of Korangi, told The Express Tribune that they were already purchasing water tankers as they were not getting enough water in their pipelines, but this halt in supply means that for the next two weeks there will be no water in their area.
He added that every now and then there is a water shortage. “The government should permanently close the water supply and inform the public that they have to buy water for their survival as this is what they actually want – the suffering of the masses,” he criticised.
Pakistan Peoples Party Karachi Division President and former minister Dr Asim Hussain also condemned the halt in water supply to the city and said that every now and then the people of Karachi had to suffer a water crisis due to the lame excuses of different departments.
He added that already the supply is not meeting the demand and people are deprived of the important resource, whereas the tanker and hydrant mafias are looting the masses.
Dr Asim also stressed that the KWSB should immediately resume supply, as it could create a huge water crisis and anarchy in such warm weather.