Judicial commission comes down hard on KWSB

Published: May 15, 2018
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PHOTO: REUTERS

PHOTO: REUTERS

KARACHI: The Supreme Court-appointed judicial commission on water and sanitation granted on Monday two days to the Karachi Water and Sewerage Board (KWSB) to enhance its IT system.

The commission directed the KWSB managing director (MD) to establish a centralised IT system and provide training to the board’s employees before Ramazan starts.

It also imposed a penalty on the Chinese company responsible for lifting waste in the city for employing a workforce too small to meet the city’s requirements.

“Are you here to loot and plunder?” asked the commission’s head, Justice (retd) Amir Hani Muslim, reprimanding the Chinese company. He observed that neither did the company procure enough vehicles to collect waste from the city nor did it hire enough workers for the task.

Judicial commission directs focal person to coordinate between agencies

The judicial commission also admonished the Sindh Building Control Authority for its negligence. Debris from construction sites is being dumped into sewerage lines, the commission head remarked.

Justice (retd) Muslim observed that the cost of water tankers had increased. A tanker that was earlier procured at Rs4,000 now costs Rs12,000, he said, adding that inflated prices of water tankers was resulting in people’s misery. The judicial commission also expressed its displeasure over nepotism in awarding contracts for hydrants. Only preferred individuals are provided tankers, it said.
Karachi Mayor Wasim Akhtar also attended the hearing that took place at the Sindh High Court.

The commission was irked by the non-compliance of its earlier order regarding uploading details of the pumping stations on the KWSB’s website. An IT officer of the water board informed the commission that 153 pumping stations were situated in Karachi.

Justice (retd) Muslim observed that the website did not contain information about the amount of water being received and released at the pumping stations. What utility does the website have if it does not have such essential details? the commission asked.

On a query about the amount of water being supplied to Karachi, the water board MD informed the commission that 500 million gallons of water per day was being supplied to Karachi.

Judicial commission takes notice of contamination of water sources

The commission remarked that the water board had sucked up the water from Karachi. It advised the KWSB to outsource the water supply if it could not provide water to the city residents.

Justice (retd) Muslim observed that wherever the judicial commission went, it received complaints about non-availability of water. The commission censured the KWSB officials, stating that they did not have any sense of responsibility. You have not accomplished a single task since a month, the commission told the KWSB officials. Who is responsible for the non-availability of water in the city? it asked.

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