Water management on modern lines has become a
pre-requisite not only to get optimum benefits with the available
resources for a sustainable growth both in agriculture as well as the
industrial growth in the country.
Better water management to plug the waste, leakages
and economise the resources is required to handle the issue of water
scarcity if we are really serious to attract more investment in all
sectors either local or foreign.
This is the high time that policy makers should
accept that water management is now required on war footing for
accelerated industrialization in the country.
Industrialists and opinion leaders feel that local
and foreign investment at the desired level would remain a dream in the
prevailing situation where more than 50% of water either stolen or
drains out due to overage pipelines which have already been crossed the
age limit of 30 to 40 years in Karachi.
Zubair Motiwala, former Chairman of SITE Association
and a leading industrialist said that "there is no shortage of
water but water is stolen and sold to the citizens by the water tanker
mafia" he said Karachi is receiving half gallon per head water
daily, which is an international standard but where that water goes? He
said that until and unless a water management board with private sector
industrialists and experts is constituted water crisis would deepen day
by day. He said that government has plans of K-3 and K-4 but not a
single person from the private sector was consulted. Giving details of
industrial, commercial and residential growth he said that water demand
would go many time high till these projects are completed. Motiwala said
that 80% water is sold to industrial, commercial and residential
consumers. Water has become a roaring business in Karachi.
Motiwala said that it seems really mysterious when
water management of this Mega City is nowhere in the government's
priorities. "How can industries run specially textile industry? And
what about more industries which we are inviting here, without
water?" he said we have the water in Karachi and all sectors are
forced to buy it. Water, even if someone starts construction in anywhere
in Karachi he has to keep water amount into whole construction budget.
He said there are many areas where one has to spare a sum of amount for
water every month, as he keeps the amount for other utilities like gas
Many residents from DHA and other parts of the city
are buying water from tankers for years and simultaneously also paying
water tax to the government.
He said that a board should be constituted taking
experts and representatives from all fields of the Karachi, as there is
an immediate need of water management plans for next 50 years for which
execution should be started without waste of single day. He said we are
already late but still something could be done now. He said that would
be ridiculous to expect that any foreign investors would bring water
from their country.
A KWSB senior officer, however, accepted that 30%
water out of total water is either stolen or wasted in Karachi but that
has various reasons behind. 80 to 85% water pipelines of different
diameter have already completed their physical age and now they
immediately need to be replaced so that huge water waste could be
controlled. Second reason is the illegal water connection all over the
city which has been taken through sub-standard methods. In some cases
water pipelines have been broken during course of new connections.
WATER TANKERS MAFIA
There are only six legal and 50 illegal hydrants
operating all over Karachi, insiders of the Karachi Water and Sewerage
Board (KWSB) told PAGE. Actually, water is sold through 10,000
trips of the water tankers with the capacity ranging from 1,200 to
25,000 gallons. The water tankers have virtually crippled the whole
water supply system of Karachi. Over a period of time, the tanker mafia
has grown so strong that it has become a hard nut to crack and to weed
out the lucrative tanker business from Karachi. Politically and
administratively strong and influential people are on the back of this
business, as water business generates millions of rupees. In the KWSB
files, there are about 4,000 points in the city where constant leakage
causing millions of gallon of water. KWSB officials said that they could
not guard the water pipeline system in all over Karachi and every day 10
to 25 illegal connections were taken.
One of the major project titled as K-3 which is
scheduled to be completed next year would be useless and will not be
meeting the actual requirement of Karachi especially Industrial Zones as
both the industrial, commercial and residential growth would be
increased. One of the reason for this unfortunate circumstances is that
K-3 was supposed to be completed in April 2002. The completion of K-3
might be delayed further as funds problems have already started between
City District Government Karachi and the Federal Government.
There is another project under title of K-4 which is
to begin after 2006 and planned to be completed before 2025, however
this project too will not be able to meet the requirement as industrial,
commercial and domestic growth would have been surged many time high