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Pakistan: People in Karachi continue to face acute water shortages

People in Karachi continue to face acute water shortages

As residents continue to face acute water shortages in many parts of Karachi on the eve of Eid ul-Fitr, there is no sign of relief from the problem even during the three days of the festival, with water supply being suspended through water bowsers for the next two days, Pakistan-based Dawn reported.

The most-affected areas will be the salubrious parts of Karachi, including the Defence Housing Authority and Clifton, where residents mainly depend on the supply of potable water through water bowsers, according to Dawn report.

People from almost every part of Karachi have complained that the Karachi Water and Sewerage Corporation (KWSC) increased their miseries during Ramazan as they faced acute water shortages in their respective areas. However, a spokesman for the water utility said that the KWSC had made special arrangements for the water supply and drainage of water in Karachi before and during Eid.

He said that water supply was impacted in some parts of Karachi due to mechanical activities. He further said that the supply had to be suspended for repair and maintenance work that caused water scarcity in some parts of Karachi.

Speaking to Dawn, KWSC chief executive officer Syed Salahuddin Ahmed said that all pumping stations in the city were operating normally and 520 million gallons of water per day was being supplied to the city from the Dhabeji Pumping Station.

He said, “The demand of water has increased with the hot weather.” Ahmed announced that effective steps for the supply and drainage of water will be taken around Eid gatherings, mosques and schools in Karachi.

Rejecting the KWSC official’s claims, the residents said that water had not flowed through the main pipelines for the past several days in their areas, forcing them to opt for the mushrooming water tanker mafia to meet their daily requirements.

Tauseef Shah, resident of Gulshan-i-Iqbal Block 13, said that the 2,000-gallon water tanker that they used to purchase for Pakistani rupees (PKR) 2,000 was now being sold at PKR 5,000 to 6,000 in his area.

He said, “It happens on every Eid,” adding that the tanker mafia, with the involvement of water utility officials, minted millions of rupees each year during religious festivals,” Dawn reported.

The water shortage that continued to affect residents in district central alleged that the water meant for the district was being supplied to other regions of Karachi, according to Dawn report. They stated that the Sakhi Hasan Hydrant was closed for the past three days due to a shortage of water, forcing the people to make alternative arrangements for water supply.

The Sakhi Hasan Hydrant was made operational only for eight hours to supply water in the district, Dawn reported, citing sources. Meanwhile, the water utility said that the supply of water through tankers from seven official hydrants will remain suspended on Wednesday and Thursday as the tanker drivers will not come to duty due to Eid celebrations.

Hydrant cell incharge Elahi Bux Bhutto said that there were 2,800 registered water tankers supplying 12 to 15 MGD water to various parts of Karachi. He said that the water tanker service remained closed on the first two days of Eid as drivers remained on holidays.