KARACHI: Electricity breakdown disrupts water supply

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02 May 2000 Tuesday 26 Muharram 1421

KARACHI: Electricity breakdown disrupts water supply

By Our Reporter

KARACHI, May 1: Water crisis in the city of 12 million became acute on Monday and is likely to persist for another day or two following a tripping of KESC's 132 kv high tension transmission line near Gharo which neutralised KWSB's main pumping station at Dhabeji for about 12 hours.

The tripping in the KESC system provided an opportunity to the officials of the KWSB to cover up their shortcomings and mismanagement of the system owing to which the people don't get sufficient water through the pipeline, but the tanker mafia thrives

The tripping in the KESC system had occurred around midnight on Sunday owing to which power supply to Dhabeji pumping station remained suspended for almost 12 hours, resulting in short supply of 195 MGD to the most populous city and industrial hub of the country.

Attempts to operate the pumping station by switching over to alternate source did not succeed.

Karachi gets 435 mgd from Dhabeji where 12 pumps of second, third and, fourth phase and K-2 system could not operate due to power breakdown, said a spokesman for the KW&SB. Only 75 mgd could be pumped from diesel pump of first phase, he added.

The KESC, however, said tripping in the transmission line was caused after some unknown persons cut the wires and stole conductors. He claimed that by mid-day on Monday, power supply was restored.

While the two utilities blamed each other, people of Karachi suffered and with them industrial activity was also affected. It could not be comprehended why the KWSB had not installed back-up generators, especially when power breakdown was so frequent.

Water shortage was affecting operation of industries located in the city, especially in SITE area, which was ultimately affecting export targets and earnings.

With the advent of summer, trippings have increased, and water supply is being affected. The tanker mafia, taking advantage of the situation, started minting money.

Apart from five official hydrants allowed by the KWSB, dozens of illegal hydrants have emerged in the city. These hydrants are supplying contaminated sub-soil water.

According to a report, out of 114 hydrants, 86 are illegal and are playing with the life of the people by supplying contaminated water to them.

According to an official estimate, the total requirement of Karachi is 700-800mgd, but the city is getting only 435mgd.


-- Martin Thompson (mthom1927@aol.com), May 02, 2000


Day after day after day! It's amazing how the infrastructure problems in Karachi, one of the largest cities in the world, keep mounting.

-- Uncle Fred (dogboy45@bigfoot.com), May 02, 2000.

This is a microcoosm of what should be happening in a lot of major cities all over the world.

-- Wellesley (wellesley@freeport.net), May 02, 2000.

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