Illegal water hydrants: Court calls comments from authorities

A group of petitioners had gone to the SHC against unauthorised hydrants on govt property


People wait with empty containers to fill them with water as the city faces an acute shortage. Water is sold at exorbitant rates by owners of tankers and illegal water hydrants, dozens of which operate in the city. PHOTO: ATHAR KHAN/EXPRESS

KARACHI: The Sindh High Court has called comments from the local bodies and Karachi Water and Sewerage Board (KWSB) authorities about the establishment of dozens of unauthorised water hydrants that are operating on federal government property in the city.

A division bench, headed by Justice Aqeel Ahmed Abbasi, directed the authorities to submit their comments by the next date of hearing.

A group of residents had taken the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation administrator, the Karachi commissioner, the KWSB chairperson, managing director and in-charge of water hydrants, the Rangers director-general, the Pakistan Public Works department and others to court over the illegal water hydrants.

The petitioners, including Mian Zahid Shah and Shahid Khursheed Ahmed, said in their plea that there used to be one water hydrant on the land of the Pakistan Public Works department in 2005-2006. They claimed that dozens of such hydrants have now been set up without authorisation on the government property between Lasbella and Teen Hatti.

The operation of these hydrants and the movement of heavy transport does not only create traffic jams but has also led to the deterioration of law and order in the area, they alleged.

The petitioners said that the federal and provincial governments and law enforcement agencies are duty-bound to act against these hydrants but none of them have so far bothered to take any action against them.

The court was, therefore, pleaded to order the Pakistan Public Works department, the KMC administrator, the Karachi commissioner, the Rangers DG, the East SSP and the KWSB MD and chairperson to remove these water hydrants from the residential area.

The bench issued notices to the respondents and the provincial law officer to file their comments by the next date of hearing.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 4th, 2015. 

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