KARACHI - Acute water shortage in the port city has forced the Karachiites to buy water tankers on excessive rates as the major water supplying organization in the city – Karachi Water and Sewerage Board (KW&SB) – fails to provide water tankers on official rates.

The metropolis is facing water shortage since long but current situation turned into worst as citizens depend only on water tanker service as private water tanker companies taking advantage of this situation. The private water tanker proprietors charging Rs 5,000 per 1,000 gallon water, Rs 7,000 per 2,000 gallons and Rs 9,000 per 3,000 gallons despite the water rates fixed by the KW&SB as per the government’s official rates of Rs1,000 per 1,000 gallons, Rs1,300 for 2,000 gallons and Rs1,700 for 3,000 gallons for residential consumers.

Despite the tall claims made by Local Government Minister Saeed Ghani about to control water crisis through fair water supply and providing water tankers to citizens on cheap rates, the official water hydrants charging massive rates like above rates of private water tanker services.

However, residents every part of the city have complained that they are unable to obtain water through water supply lines nor water tanker at government rates and have been forced to purchase water from private tanker suppliers on high rates.

Yaseen Khan, a resident of Surjani Town, complained that they have not been able to get any water, despite a number of reminders sent to KWSB officials online water tanker service and also its official mobile application for water tanker. The water board just says that their water bowsers are on duty to supply water to the residents, he said.

Various areas have complaint of unfair supply of water and allege that water board employees are involved in illegally supplying water to industrial zones, cattle colonies and other businesses. The residential areas are however witnessing acute shortage of water and the residents were even unable to acquire water on government rates despite queuing in long lines at water hydrants.

Mansoor Ansari, a resident of sector 10 North Karachi told The Nation, that the situation has reached to its worst level in the area as the residents were even unable to perform ablution and give bath to the dead bodies. “We even do not have drinking water and had to purchase drinking water worth thousands of rupees,” he said.

It is pertinent to mention here that the city only has one major sources of water supply that is K-III water project while a major water supply project at HUB Dam is at dead level and no water is supplied from this scheme due to lack of rainfall in recent past. The major water supply project of K-IV is still languishing and both federal and provincial government is unable to earmark enough funds to complete the project.

In a post-budget presser, the chief minister had informed that the project cost had doubled due to errors from officials and demanded of the federal government to carryout audit of the project and release funds on urgent basis in this fiscal year in order to complete the project on time in order to overcome looming water crisis in the city.

All political parties who campaigned in the city during the recently-held polls had vowed to address the water issue in the city soon after coming into power but no one is yet to announce any concrete steps in this regard.