ISLAMABAD: Water crises is one of the biggest issues the city of Karachi faces among the many development issues however Government of Pakistan and Government of Sindh offices collectively owe a staggering 20.78 billion to the Karachi Water & Sewerage Board (KW&SB) when the water supply to the city of over 20 million stands at less than 50% due to lack of progress on different projects.
KW&SB is also the sole provider of these water and sanitation facilities to over 20 million citizens along with Government and Commercial offices across the largest metropolis of the country. Services are rendered at a very low tariff to ensure availability to consumers. KW&SB has a long list of private sector defaulters but the Government and Ministry Defaulter list reveals a total of 25.89 billion in defaults.
Also Read: Water Scarcity in Karachi
Government of Pakistan
Over 25 federal ministries have failed to clear their dues on 547 Government of Pakistan offices owing a collective sum of 17.1 billion rupees to the organization, placing the people of Pakistan in a categoric debt to Karachiites.
Ministry of Production broke all records of responsibility with the highest sum in default (7.17 billion) with just 14 offices. Ministry of Defense also owes a staggering 5.53 billion through 133 different divisional offices. Ministry of Ports and Shipping is the third highest defaulter with 1.81 billion in default through only 23 offices. Whereas, Ministry of Works owe 0.99 billion through its 145 offices.
Major defaulters also include Ministry of Culture and Tourism with 16 offices and 287 million in default, Pakistan Telecommunication Authority with 47 offices and 235 million in default, Pakistan Railway with 20 offices and 181 million in default, Civil Aviation Authority with only 3 offices and 176 million in default and Ministry of Health with 9 offices and 155 million in default.
Other defaulting ministries and federal bodies include; Ministry of Finance with 6 offices and 98 million, Ministry of Food and Agriculture with 28 offices and 75 million, Central Board of Revenue with 8 offices and 61 million, Ministry of Science & Technology with 12 offices and 51 million, Ministry of Education with 22 offices and 48 million, Ministry of Information with 8 offices and 43 million, Export Promotion Bureau with just 2 offices and 34 million, Pakistan Postal Services with 28 offices and 33 million, Ushar & Zakat with 3 offices and 23 million and Ministry of Interior with 9 offices and 17 million in default.
Pakistan Bureau of Statistics, Ministry of Commerce, Ministry of Revenue and Social Welfare Department are also among the defaulters.
Government of Sindh
On the other hand over 16 Government of Sindh Ministries and Bodies including Governor House and Chief Minister House owe 3.68 billion to KW&SB through 542 offices. Major defaulting ministries and offices include; Ministry of Education with 204 offices and 61 million, Home Department with 121 offices and 50 million, Ministry of Public Health (Engineering Department) with 4 offices and 30 million, Provincial P.W.D with 22 Offices and 28 million, Health Department with 68 offices and 18 million and Department of Livestock with 2 offices and 13 million in defaults.
Moreover; Karachi Electric Supply Corporation now K.E is also on the KW&SB defaulter list with 78 offices and 1.4 billion rupees in defaulter however the matter is in dispute with a mutual resolution by the Sindh High Court.
Governor House Sindh owes 34 million to the people of Karachi and Chief Minister House owes 1.6 million. Other defaulters include; Ministry of Law, Ministry of Revenue, Ministry of Welfare, Sindh Government Printing Press, Sindh Small Industries and Sindh Assembly Building.
How KW&SB can use this money?
KW&SB has initiated several projects to increase basic water supply capacity from around 550 million gallons daily – when working with full capacity – however, on any given day the capacity only nears 500 million gallons daily. The demand on the other hand stands at over 1,000 million gallons daily.
K-IV the biggest KW&SB project to add 560 million gallons daily to the grid has only been funded for the first phase to add a 260 million gallon daily. KW&SB and in turn Karachiites waited 7 years for the commencement of this project. KW&SB would require further funding and possibly another long halt in the development once the first phase is completed.
Another proposed KW&SB projects plans to add 65 million gallons daily water supply to the gird. Where as up-gradation of the main source Dhabeji Pumping Comples and establishments of CETPs in industrial zones are also among the proposed project.
KW&SB has also been handling the sanitation issue in the city in dire need of attention due to deteriorating conditions and lack of regular maintenance, however KW&SB has always maintained lack of funds the principle cause of low maintenance.