KARACHI - Although, various parts of the metropolis are facing shortage of drinking water, the cantonment boards of the city, being operated by the military administration, are allegedly involved in operating illegal water hydrants in their vicinity and providing water to the people living in these areas, causing loss of millions of rupees to the Karachi Water and Sewerage Board, Pakistan Today has learnt.
Presently, the major parts of the city have been facing paucity of water for many days however the authorities of the cantonment boards are involved in taking bulk of water from the illegal water hydrants on daily basis, under the patronage of law enforcement agencies, sources in the water utility told Pakistan Today.
Sources also revealed that there were illegal hydrants existing in Chanesar Goth, Mehmoodabad, Manzoor Colony, Kashmir Colony and PIB Colony.
The residents of these areas have lodged complaints many times against cantonments tankers, which mostly operate in the night hours and cause disturbance. Politically backed tanker mafias are illegally running more than 100 illegal water hydrants and pumping stations in various areas including Korangi, New Karachi, Nazimabad, and North Nazimabad. However, the authorities never bothered to take stern action against them, the sources added.
More than one million gallons of drinking water was being stolen by the Cantonment Board Clifton (CBC) alone daily. The water utility was well aware of the issue however no action could be initiated due to alleged pressure from the agencies, sources said.
When contacted, Acting Chairman KWSB MPA Haji Munwar Abbasi said that illegal water hydrants were being operated in the city under the patronage of cantonment boards despite ban in the city, resulting in shortage of water.
The KWSB had time and again moved to take action against the illegal hydrants however the decision could never be materialized due to interference by the military authorities. Besides, the police were also tasked to take action but of no avail.
The Managing Director KWSB, Misbahuddinn Fareed also confirmed the involvement of cantonment boards in stealing potable water and operating illegal hydrants. The cantonment area like the Defence Housing Authority (DHA ), Clifton Cantonment Board (CBC) and the Cantonment Board Faisal have been stealing the KWSB’s water as these areas are faced with acute paucity of water.
“We have so far received a number of complaints against the cantonment boards and the KWSB authorities are now working on a law to deal with the illegal hydrants particularly by the cantonment boards”, he concluded.