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KARACHI: Treasury on Monday called the opposition’s concerns as political gimmicks ahead of the general election, as the MQM and TLP continued to raise water and electricity problems during the Sindh Assembly session.

Saleem Baloch, Parliamentary Secretary on the Local Government told the house that the megacity will continue to suffer from water shortages until the K-IV project is completed.

Replying to call attention notices by the MQM’s legislators on water scarcity in the metropolis, he said that the city needs 1200-mgd water while it receives only 500 mgd of the utility because of pipeline leakages and low river and lake resources.

Syed Hashim Raza of the MQM raised the issue of booster pumps installed on the main pipelines and water unavailability in Landhi and Korangi areas. He said that the water distribution is not made on a just mechanism.

Illegal water connections to industrial units have been provided from Bin Qasim pipeline, he said that alleged that some nine booster pumps are being operated on “political basis”.

Citing Karachi Water and Sewerage Corporation’s rules, he said that no such booster pumps can be installed on the main pipelines. Baloch called these pumps “legal” and said that the KWSC has set up them.

He said that the public will have to compromise on short water supplies and rely on availability during the alternative days since its use grows in the summers.

He also blamed Hesco for water shortage in Hyderabad, saying that electricity load shedding causes the pumps to stop functioning, which results in a halt to supplies to the city. He hoped Hesco will solve the load shedding issue soon.

Sadaqat Hussain of the MQM also raised the same problem, saying that the 24-inch diameter of main pipeline supplies only three inches of water to Orangi Town. He blamed the illegal connections and a new official for the crisis.

He rued the water scarcity in his locality for the last 90 days and demanded of the government for the removal of the new official and action against him. Baloch responded that the water board aims and intends to make a just distribution.

He assured the house that a strict action will be taken if anyone found with an illegal water connection. Ali Khurshidi of the MQM also voiced concerns over illegal water connections and water unavailability.

On a call attention notice, he said that there are over 150 illegal connections working in the metropolis. The city’s District West has the water resources to meet its need from Hub Dam but still suffers shortages.

He said that his locality, Orangi Town, continues to suffer from water shortage for the last 22 days, requesting to the PPP rule to take the issue seriously. He said that an illegal water connection is provided for Rs500, 000.

TLP’s Mufti Qasim Fakhri alleged the PPP rule for patronizing the K-Electric, saying that his party’s resolution against the power company is not supported by the Sindh government.

Baloch answered that his government will support the TLP’s move against the K-Electric in the house, saying that the opposition is making political “talks” because of the election is ahead.

Sindh Energy Minister, Imtiaz Shaikh said that the government has solved power crisis in several areas. The house also adopted “The University of Larkano Bill, 2023,” “The Sindh Arms (Amendment) Bill, 2023,” and “The Sindh Goth-Abad (Housing Scheme) (Amendment) Bill, 2023”.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2023

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