For the city’s welfare: JI joins MQM, PTI protests against water crisis

Qayyumabad residents threaten to block main Korangi Road if crisis not resolved in a week.

Women wait with their containers to fill them with water. Karachi has been suffering from an acute water crisis for over a month, forcing citizens to wait in long queues to collect water. PHOTO: MOHAMMAD NOMAN/EXPRESS

KARACHI: Divided as they may be on various issues, Jamaat-e-Islami (JI), Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) have something in common: their annoyance at the prevailing water crisis.

While MQM held a demonstration in Liaquatabad, PTI joined the residents of Qayyumabad on Friday in their protest against the shortage of water. Meanwhile, JI announced to launch its series of protests in the city as well.

PTI in Qayyumabad

Residents of Qayyumabad took to the streets on Friday to protest the crisis in the area. Shouting slogans on the main Korangi Road, the residents were joined by PTI Karachi division president Ali Zaidi and lawmakers Samar Ali Khan and Khurram Sher Zaman.

Since the water crisis started in the city a month ago, residents of Qayyumabad and Akhtar Colony have been having a hard time sharing water supplied from a single water pump. Around 20 days ago, the people of the areas reached a deal that water will be equally distributed.

"It was decided that water will be pumped in each area for two hours," said PTI leader Raja Azhar, who is also a resident of Qayyumabad. According to him, the residents of Akhtar Colony did not abide by the deal. "They had the support of other political forces of the city and were pressurising the residents of my area," he claimed, adding that water was pumped in Akhtar Colony for hours but was stopped for his area.

"We wrote a letter to the Karachi Water and Sewerage Board (KWSB) managing director, Korangi deputy commissioner and Sindh Rangers director-general as the issue was getting worse in the area," he said.

As the protest started on Friday, Korangi deputy commissioner Asif Jan Siddiqui called the elders of Qayyumabad to his office. Azhar told The Express Tribune that Siddiqui had requested them to delay the protest and promised to fix the problem in a week. KWSB employees also attended this meeting.

He said that the residents have delayed the protest on Siddiqui's request, adding that if the problem is not solved within a week, the residents will block the main Korangi Road.

MQM in Liaquatabad

Continuing its protests against water shortage in the city, the MQM held a demonstration in Liaquatabad No. 10 on Friday. Since May 22, the party has been regularly organising protests in different parts of the city, urging the Sindh government to take steps to resolve the existing crisis.

A day earlier at a protest at Hasan Square, MQM leader Haider Abbas Rizvi had said that water distribution should be according to population and Karachi should get an equal distribution of resources. He said that the government should pay heed to the problems being faced by the people because of the 'artificial' shortage.

JI to launch water shortage protests

JI Karachi chapter has announced the launch of a series of water shortage protests in 50 locations of Karachi.

Hafiz Naeemur Rehman said the party leadership has planned the first of its demonstrations at Jauhar Morr on Thursday. He demanded immediate implementation of the K-4 project, scrutiny of political recruits in government departments and the availability of uninterrupted power and water during Ramazan. He claimed that Karachi required 1.3 billion gallons per day whereas the supply is only 680 million gallons.

*With additional input from press release

Published in The Express Tribune, May 30th, 2015.


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