Akhtar Shaheen Rind
KARACHI: Karachi Water and Sewerage Corporation Act will play an important role in improving the Karachi Water and Sewerage Board (KWSB).
As soon as the act comes into force, they will ensure that the financial recovery of the KWSB is improved. In this regard, a complete list of KWSB defaulters and the procedure for recovery from them has been prepared. Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of the KWSB Engineer Syed Sallahuddin Ahmed said that they are introducing a Digital Complaint Center for immediate redressal of water and sewage related complaints for common citizens.
Apart from this, he announced that facilities are being improved by outsourcing control at the town level. He said qualified contractors in 26 towns in Karachi will perform their duties under the Karachi Water and Sewerage Corporation. He said that the process of bill recovery will be outsourced at district level to increase revenue.
Various provincial and federal departments are Rs12 billion worth defaulters of the water board. On the other hand, there are arrears of Rs38 billions on bulk and retail consumers. Once these arrears are cleared, the amount will be given to the employees of the KWSB first to clear their long pending dues.
Ahmed was sharing details of projects of the water board with the media at North East Karachi (NEK) Filter Plant Water Board near Saadi Town. Chief Operating Officer of KWSB, Engineer Asadullah Khan along with other senior officials of the water board were also present at the occasion.
The CEO said that under the latest act, the KWSB has been given special powers to recover arrears from various institutions and individuals, while the poor, slum and suburban residents of the city will be provided with water at a discounted rate.
He said that under the corporation act, separate police stations will be established for the water board, which will help prevent incidents like water theft, line break among other issues.
He said that if any employee of the corporation neglects to perform his duties, he or she will be fined with Rs50,000.
If someone diverts the flow of water illegally, he will be fined Rs0.2 million. Apart from this a fine of Rs0.3 million will be imposed on the person who damages the electric lines of the water supply motors. A fine of Rs0.5 million will be imposed on the person who destroys the water supply pipelines, disturbs their arrangement, whereas, those who disembark animals, bathe them, wash skins, hides or clothes in water supplied to the city, or block drainage lines, will be fined with Rs0.5 million.
He said if anyone dismantles water supply valves, damage water meters in the city will be fined Rs 1 millions. Meanwhile, a fine of Rs 2million along with two years of imprisonment will be given to the person occupying the land of water illegally.
If anyone found running an illegal hydrant for industrial or commercial purpose will be fined with Rs5 million and will be given imprisonment of five years.
The CEO said that with the joint cooperation of the Sindh Government and the World Bank, modern reforms have been introduced in the KWSB. In this regard, hydrant portal management has been launched to digitize the operations of hydrant cells, under which the entire system of the cell will be controlled.
In this system all tankers including drivers will be registered and given a QR code, while users will be able to know from which hydrant their water tankers come and what is the official rate of the water tanker they receive from the QR code. He said that the main objective of digitizing hydrant cells is to give easy access to the water tankers.
In response to a question, he said that the main objective of the water tankers service is to provide immediate relief to ordinary citizens who are in need. He said that the supply and installation of water flow meters to bulk consumers is being done rapidly. As many as 1600 large diameter flow meters will be installed in phase one while 5858 small diameter flow meters will be installed in phase two.
He said that construction and maintenance of 36 inch diameter in Malir river bed phase one and phase three including 84 inch diameter balance conveyance in K-II, K-III of Karachi Gujjo Canal, and restoration of water supply and sewerage is being done in Soba Nagar and Goharabad.
He said that their team is replacing the damaged 72″ Dia PRCC Rising Main No. 5 from Dhabejee Pumping Station to Forebay along with repair / replacement of Damaged Sections of Water Lines and Sewers in Different Districts of Karachi. The maintenance of the sewer network in Teen Hatti, Liaquatabad and Gulberg Town areas will also be done on a priority basis.
He said that the water board is also doing repair and replacement work of damaged sections of KWSB’s water lines and sewers on the Peoples Bus Service routes in different districts of Karachi.
He said that the KWSB is also going to launch a fleet management portal in its projects suction and jetting machines, in which track systems will be installed in jetting and suction machines so that users could know the current location of the vehicle working.
In addition, he said, the KWSB is geo tagging all water valves, so that water could be distributed fairly to the citizens. Rehabilitation work of KWSB Head Quarters has also been planned. They are planning to construct a Center of Reform, Research and Innovation building.
CEO KW&SB briefed that digitization of the HR database is also being done by the KWSB to make the systems efficient.
He said that new health procedures and modern systems have been introduced to provide better medical facilities to the employees under which the central office of health department COD filter plant has been formally started.
He also mentioned that the KWSB has been working day and night to prevent Naegleria according to the standards set by the World Health Organization. The required dosage of chlorine is being added to the water supplied to the citizens, while the process of adding chlorine to the water supplied from the Hydrants Cell is also ensured.
He said that the KWSB is solving all the problems related to water supply and drainage on a priority basis despite its limited resources. In this regard, all the officers and employees of the KWSB are engaged in performing their duties day and night to provide better facilities to the citizens, because providing better water supply and drainage facilities to the citizens is one of our top priorities.