Karachi: Shortage of water has become a pressing problem of Karachi and to resolve it for good it needs out of the box thinking by stakeholders, especially the management of Karachi Water and Sewerage Board (KWSB).

Previous day, Karachi got 35million gallons less water due to power outage at Dhabeji pumping station of the KWSB. The port city braves such water shortages on regular basis and the sustainable solution of the issue is that the KWSB generates its own electricity and shun dependence of the Karachi-Electric.

The KWSB is in ideal position to generate its own energy by installing a CNG-based plant due to its proximity of its main pumping stations near the Port Qasim; it could install wind mills as this area is situated on the wind corridors or it could even generate solar electricity by installing panels on its vast areas.

The government of Sindh has already recognized the need of self-sufficiency of the KWSB in electricity so that its pumping stations are not shut due to power outages and the port city is not deprived of much needed potable water. Last month, Sindh chief minister Murad Ali Shah expressing dissatisfaction over water pumping situation said his of Sindh is paying Rs. 500 million electricity bills per month to the K-Electric on behalf of the Karachi Water and Sewerage Board (KWSB), which can be saved if the KWSB sets up its own power generation plant.

He suggested that the KWSB should plan to install its own LNG-based or wind power plant of 50 MW, instead of billions of rupees to power supply companies. He asserted that the KWSB should develop its own power plant of 50MW, and government would help in its funding. He further asked to start a survey for the proposed 50MW power plant.

Water is amongst the basic necessities of life and government should take all-out efforts to ensure proper supply of potable water to the port city, Jamaat e Islami (JI) Sindh chapter amir Dr Merajul Huda Siddiqui. He said if the KWSB generates its own energy it would be its plus point. He said the use of renewable energy is becoming popular in whole world and we should also adopt these methods.

However, the bureaucracy in the local government and KWSB seems not ready to accept the suggestions of the chief minister and install its own power generation facilities. Like traditional government departments, the KWSB also lacks visionary officers and experts who can assess the short, mid and long term water needs of the mega city.

Sindh Tehreek-e-Insaf Women’s Wing President Nusrat Wahid said that depriving citizens of potable water facility is regrettable. She said not only the slum and low-income areas of the city, but also the posh localities like DHA and Clifton face sever water shortage. She asked for immediate measures to ensure smooth water supply to all areas of the city, adding alternate arrangements should also be made so that the pumping stations could also be run in case of non-supply of electricity.

However, Justice Helpline President Nadeem A Sheikh Advocate also demanded better mechanisms of water supply for Karachi to facilitate citizens. He said not only there are problems in pumping stations but water supply lines are chocked and leaking in many areas that should be repaired on urgent basis.

He said the privatization of the KESC was a major setback for the city and the privatized entity is doing what is deems fit. He said the concept of corporate social responsibility is being violated not only in case of water supply but also in many other sectors.

He said we should develop and build our departments and organizations that are providing civic services to the mega city. He said development of the KWSB on modern lines would augur well for Karachi and Karachiites.