There has been a regular shortage of water in our NA250 constituency, and we as PTI representatives are constantly pursuing this issue. With the rising population of Karachi, water shortage up-stream and negligence in starting the K-4 Karachi Bulk Supply project there is a general scarcity which is compounded by a horrid network of water pipelines, and the tanker mafia which sucks water of our pipeline and supplies it back at exorbitant cost to the residents.
We must also remember that there are some areas in DHA and colonies that are high/elevated where there is not enough pressure to get water and some areas where the water network is beyond repair. These households unfortunately will continue to suffer, until a major revamp of this entire infrastructure is undertaken by the CBC, KCB and KWSB.
One component of the problem is the Chakra Goth water hydrant that is literally sucking out water from the dedicated pipeline to our areas and filling up water tankers. If 5000 tankers are filled from there it comes to actually 5 MGDs (million gallons per day) out of our quota. However tankers are needed but a very small number to compensate for the lack of water infrastructure and elevated areas.
KW&SB & CBC have a contractual agreement whereby KW&SB pledges a daily supply of water to CBC (12 MGDs) and the surplus is auctioned off to a private contractor to sell. The agreed upon strategy was to permit water bowsers to be filled for only FOUR hours in a day (12:00AM to 4:00AM) & permit the use of only TWO water filling booms (out of 4 available) to fill the water tankers, but this commitment continues to be violated by the water tanker mafia in collusion with officers of the Sindh government. Reportedly the hydrant is running for over 12+ hours a day and extraction of water is done from four booms (whereas only two were permitted)
Despite repeated attempts to solve this problem directly since our elections - the recent meeting of our elected officials Mr Samar Khan, Mr Khurrum Sherzaman and Dr Seema Zia with the Minister and the MD of KW&SB and many other meetings of Dr Alvi and the MPAs with CBC and KWSB since months have not led to any improvement. Our MPA Khurrum Sher Zaman also led a vocal protest at the Karachi Press Club in May.
The Minster Mr Sharjeel Memon and KW&SB MD promised in our meeting with him to regulate the hydrants to their agreed and stipulated time (four hours) and also reduce the filling booms to two (four are usually run).
To monitor the daily situation PTI has nominated Mr Saleem Kazi who will collect a daily report of the hydrant operating time from the CBC offices and report it to us for further followup. It is our endeavour to keep things as transparent as possible and these collected reports will then be shared online on the PTI NA250 Twitter account http://twitter.com/PTINA250 for example:
As you can see form the above chart the hydrant continues operate far beyond the agreed time of 4 hrs (in fact up to 13 hours) and with all 4 booms instead of 2. The system we have set up now is that Mr Saleem Kazi communicates the situation daily to the Minister and the KW&SB officials to implement the decisions. it is our expectation that this process of public exposure (and hopefully with some support from KW&SB and Sindh Govt) we may be able to improve the situation.
During Eid Holidays, the situation just got worse because of the Pipri pipeline burst. Water demand allowed the tanker mafia to further fleece the residents. Little could we do to control this menace. The only alternative that CBC offered was to offer free (48) browsers to be distributed to some residents in DHA, which is no excuse for the lack of water as a basic human necessity, but even this came after some strong lobbying pressure by our MNA Dr Arif Alvi, MPAs Samar Ali Khan, Khurrum Sherzaman, and Dr Seema Zia, working for their constituents throughout Eid Holidays.
The latest is that Mr Samar Ali Khan talked to the Minister and informed him that our constituents are getting desperate and that if the matter is not handled immediately the situation can get out of control and there may be protests on the streets. Mr Sharjeel Memon has assured our MPA and issued strict orders that from 5th August the Chakra Goth Hydrant will not function a minute beyond the stipulated 4 hours.
If this happens it would be your victory and that of the hard work of your public representatives as well as of the action taken by the Minister. On the other hand if the situation does not improve, be ready to struggle more or even protest for your rights.