Steps are in the pipeline for installation of meters
on the consumption of water by the industrial, commercial and domestic
water consumers in Karachi.
According to the plans, water consumption at fixed
tax on annual basis will come to an end now and radical step has been
taken to streamline an efficient water management system in this largest
water consuming city where a considerable amount of precious water goes
into drains due to careless and lavish use of the much-sought commodity.
The Karachi Water and Sewerage Board (KWSB), City
District Government Karachi, (CDGK), Defence Housing Society (DHA) and
the cantonment boards are also preparing plans to restructure the water
management in Karachi, which is being elevated as a metropolitan city of
Pakistan in the real sense and the most modern city in south Asia.
There are about 1.55 million water consumers which
include 1.4 registered in the billing network of KWSB, DHA and
cantonment areas of Karachi. KWSB, Defence Housing Authority and all six
cantonment boards including Manora Island has started installing water
meters. So far, 625 UK-imported meters have been installed for the
industrial consumers and now they are being billed at the rate of Rs. 72
per 1,000 gallons whereas the rates of Rs. 44 per 1,000 gallons have
been fixed for domestic and commercial consumers.
Defence Housing Authority has also amended the
construction law which now bounds every owner of all nature of unit to
install the water meter imported from China. DHA has even installed
water meters to its old bulk consumers within it jurisdiction.
Syed Akhlaq Hussain, Deputy Managing Director, KWSB
told PAGE that this is just beginning of a long-term
restructuring plan which might take some years but ultimately every
consumer would have a water meter at its unit. He said that there are
total 3,500 bulk consumers in Karachi having water connection of
one-inch diameter or above but only 625 bulk consumers have installed
water meter and are paying accordingly on monthly basis.
The next major step is going to be taken for
apartments in Karachi in which about 300,000 units of different
categories flats are situated. At present ,situation is very complex, as
KWSB has provided a single connection to each apartment where from 35 to
1000 flats are consuming water and are billed individually. On
disconnection issue, KWSB's DMD said that they can not disconnect the
main connection of any apartment until 50% apartment of owners come
However, a proposal in this connection is being
prepared and major changes in the construction of apartment is being
suggested according to which owner of every flat would have separate
water connection alongwith water meter and they would than be billed on
He said at present speed of installing the water
meter is slow because there is shortage in water supply and water meter
goes in reverse when there is no water. One of the major water supply
project K-3 is scheduled to be completed at the end of 2005, till that
time KWSB and other institutions are restructuring water supply network,
said Akhlaq Hussain.
"There are three major reasons of water crises
in Karachi, on top of that is water goes waste due to leakages in entire
water supply network of the KWSB.
There is another major step regarding streamlining
the water management system of Karachi as billing and collection
department of the KWSB is going to be privatized. However, this step has
been postponed due to many reasons but basic reason has been reported
the dilapidated network of the KWSB due to which Karachi is facing an
artificial shortage. The second reason is reported to be corruption in
the KWSB which has forced the authorities to privatize the billing and
collection department. Third major reason is the water tanker mafia, the
Managing Director KWSB Brig. Iftikhar Haider told PAGE that water
tankers would go from Karachi and a plan has also been chalked out in
this connection. Meetings with the rangers in this connection had been
held. At the end of December all illegal hydrants would be removed out
of Karachi and gradually tanker system would come to an end.
There are about three dozen departments of the
federal and provincial government and the autonomous bodies department
including, Sindh police, Home Department, CDGK, KBCA, KESC, federal
interior ministry, Karachi central jail, health department, KPT,
Pakistan steel mills, Karachi shipyard, Pakistan Railways, education
Department, many offices of ministry of defence and civil aviation are
defaulter and have to pay three billion to the KWSB.
The water meter system has been initiated on slow pas
basis as government wants awareness and a sense of responsibility among
consumers in connection with usage of water. The City District
Government, apart from launching major projects for water supply, also
has made compulsory to design two parallel water lines in the
construction of residential and commercial units in future keeping
additional cushion of tube well water for the use to other than