KARACHI: Sindh Chief Secretary Mumtaz Ali Shah has said that the provincial government has launched a ‘grand operation’ against water theft in the city. The operation is aimed at curbing water theft through illegally operated hydrants and pipelines.
The move was announced in a meeting, headed by CS Mumtaz Ali Shah, and attended by Local Government Secretary Roshan Ali Shaikh, Karachi Commissioner Iftikhar Ahmed Shallwani, Karachi Water and Sewerage Board (KWSB) Asadullah Khan and representatives of Pakistan Army and Rangers.
The Karachi commissioner and KWSB chief presented an overview of the previous and ongoing efforts against illegal water hydrants in the meeting.
Since 2015, said Khan, the water board has demolished 194 illegally operated hydrants and 300 illegal pipelines across Karachi. He added that cases have been registered against over 300 people for the involvement in water theft.
Khan also briefed the meeting about the 25 existing hydrants that are operating in District West. At this, the chief secretary assured administrative support to the KWSB, police and Rangers for the demolition of the hydrants in a week. He also summoned a compliance report from the KWSB at the end of the said operation.
In response to the MD’s report of illegal water pipelines detected near Gujo, CS Shah advised Khan to remove the illegal pipeline in Gujo and surrounding villages and replace them with a KWSB-mandated water supply system to supply only drinking water to the local population.
He also suggested that the KWSB officials install patrols at bulk transmission systems, canals, syphons, conduits, filter plants and pumping stations in Dhabeji, Gharo, Pipri and Gulshan-e-Maymar.
Shah also directed the KWSB chief to conduct a survey in tandem with the districts’ administration and Rangers to ascertain the estimated volume of water being lost at pumping stations from all Karachi districts. Khan was also urged to take action against all persons involved in the tampering of Karachi’s water resources and supplies followed by a compliance report submitted to the Secretariat.
Published in The Express Tribune, September 27th, 2019.