The industrial area of SITE, which is home to over 3,000 factories, is facing acute shortage of water, resulting in loss of production and closure of some units, said a trade body official.
SITE Association of Trade and Industry Acting Chairman Asad Nisar said on Tuesday the water shortage had worsened over the last six months and no measures had been taken to resolve the problem.
Nisar has written a letter to the Sindh chief minister and governor, urging them to take action against the Karachi Water and Sewage Board (KWSB). “KWSB officials recently cut down water connection of an export-based industry without any notice. Incidences like these badly damage confidence of investors,” he said.
However, KWSB Managing Director Misbahuddin Faridi commented the water shortage problem in the SITE industrial area was the result of continuous power breakdowns in Karachi.
“We have water meters and we make sure that required water is supplied to every industry,” he said. “There may be some incidences in which tail-end industries were getting less water. But anyway, we will see how we can improve the situation.”
However, the SITE association acting chairman insisted that the problem was not linked to power breakdown because industries had been facing water shortage for months.
“The situation would not have been that critical, had power shortage been the only reason for water shortage,” he said. Also, all pumping stations in the city had separate diesel generators to produce power during power outages, he added. “More than half of 3,000 industries in the SITE industrial zone are on the verge of closure as despite repeated requests to KWSB officials there is no improvement yet,” Nisar said in the letter.
According to the letter, the SITE area has been receiving water with low pressure for a long time. As per schedule, KWSB is bound to supply water continuously for 12 hours daily, but the supply has been reduced to three to four hours.
Even the SITE fire station did not have enough water for an immediate operation in case of emergency and this might be dangerous for the industrial area as fire incidents happened from time to time, the letter added.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 4th, 2011.