People can live without many things. No one can live without water. Together with many other problems, Karachi has been facing a water shortage problem for long. The city of 20 million needs 1,000 mgd (million gallons daily) water but it gets hardly 550 mgd. According to the Karachi Water and Sewerage Board (KWSB), around 42 per cent water supplied to the city is either lost or stolen on the way from the starting pumping point to consumers’ taps. So it is in the fitness of things that the Sindh government has launched a ‘grand operation’ against water theft in the city. The operation is aimed at preventing water theft through illegal hydrants and pipelines. A meeting in this connection was held the other day, which was attended, among high officials of the provincial government, by representatives of the army and Rangers. The Karachi commissioner and the KWSB managing director presented an overview of previous and the present efforts against illegal hydrants. The KWSB MD said since 2015 the water board had demolished 194 illegal hydrants and 300 illegal pipelines in the city. He informed the meeting that cases had been registered against more than 300 people for their involvement in water theft. The water board official told the meeting about the existence of 25 illegal hydrants in district west. The chief secretary assured administrative support to the water board, Rangers and the police for the demolition of these hydrants in a week. The chief secretary suggested that the KWSB install patrols at bulk transmission systems, canals, syphons, conduits, filter plants and pumping stations. He instructed the KWSB chief to conduct a survey to ascertain the estimated quantity of water being lost at all pumping stations in Karachi. He asked the KWSB chief to deal strictly with those involved in tampering with Karachi’s water supply.
We hope these actions will lead to improved water supply in the city. There is, however, an urgent need for chlorination of water in the city.