KARACHI: The Sindh Anti-Corruption Establishment launched a drive against elements involved in the organised theft of water through the tanker mafia at Dhabeji and Haleji Conduit on Friday.
According to ACE officials, as many as 21 illegal water connections diverted to personal farm houses, dairy farms, and commercial cultivation fields have been detected and sealed. They had been operating illegally for the past several years.
An ACE official revealed that in the same area, through yet another modus operandi, water was being stolen from the main installation of Karachi Water and Sewerage Board (KWSB) by tanker owners for sale in the city. As many as 13 uncovered and punctured sites, en route Haleji Conduit, were detected and sealed. One water tanker being filled from one of the openings was seized on site and the contractor, along with the driver, has been booked.
The official said that a number of such tankers filled water from KWSB installations and ply on the road from Gharo to Karachi. These tankers face no scrutiny because the contractors pay a 'monthly' sum to the police and the KWSB officials.
Separately, the ACE has found that around 46 contractors, possessing a fleet of tankers, keep stealing potable water from the main pipeline of KWSB, mix it with subsoil water and sell it in the city at highly profitable rates.
The ACE said that the subsoil water was also being taken by the contractors without any NOC and regulation. It was just a front to cover water theft from the KWSB's main trunk.
Officials of the Deputy Commissioner, police and the KWSB were found involved in the water theft. As part of its crackdown, six perpetrators including 2 XENs of the KWSB, have been taken into custody for interrogation. All illegal hydrants have also been sealed.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 29th, 2019.
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