KARACHI: There are seven water hydrants under the Karachi Water and Sewerage Board (KSWB), including one controlled by NLC, while the remaining six hydrants have been set up in each district to supply water through tankers.
After the establishment of Kemari district, preparations have been made to set up another hydrant, for which a site was selected at North-East Karachi (NEK). However, it has been revealed that the hydrant has been shifted to Mangho Pir Road in Mianwali Colony by a contractor alleged close to Sindh Minister Syed Nasir Hussain Shah.
The contractor, who also has a hydrant of his own, is active in fixing the commission of this new hydrant and has also partnered with Crush Plant Hydrant on behest of the Sindh minister Two more additional and illegal taps have been installed along with the hydrant. NAB Deputy Director Umair Sario has also remained silent over the alleged involvement of the provincial minister.
According to a newspaper advertisement, the tender for pumping station on Mangho Pir Road can be obtained till October 25, after which a pay order of Rs10 million and bank guarantee documents will have to be submitted. Sources revealed that hydraulic cell in-charge Superintendent Engineer Naimatullah Mehar has been making political recommendations in the KSWB and has been receiving huge sums weekly.
After the tender documents have been submitted at DMD Technical Services office on October 26, the sealed proposals will be opened at 3.30 PM. The financial proposal will be received from the companies who have passed the technical proposal from the addresses of their offices. It has been reported that a pre-bidding meeting was held in the committee of Deputy Managing Director Technical Office on Oct 18 after which no questions were raised.
It should be noted that a pumping station was set up by the Sindh government to supply water to residents of Qasba Colony, Mianwali Colony and Islamia Colony. The Mianwali pumping station, which was set up to cater to the water needs of the people, was inaugurated on November 26, 2014 by then Local Government Minister Sharjeel Memon.
However, instead of giving a new water project, the PPP reopened the recently established Mianwali pumping station to give credit to its own minister. The party’s activist in Kanwari Colony broke the old nameplates of their former ministers to give credit to the incumbent minister.
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In this regard, the residents of Muslimabad No. 2, Muslimabad No. 3 and Muhammadpur Colony convened a meeting on Oct 13 under the Mohalla Committees, in which it was decided that the establishment of the hydrant would create a water crisis in Kanwari Colony, Qasba Colony and Islamia Colony and will not be allowed to be installed under any circumstances
On the occasion, social leaders Usman Khan, Sahibzada Baba, Zakir Khan, Khaibullah Khan, Inamullah, Farooq Shah and Jan Syed said they will launch protest soon. The opposition Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) in Sindh has also staged a protest over the matter. The PTI leaders said that a hydrant for Keamari district should be set up in the district and the conspiracy will not succeed.
Sources claim that Ali Ahmad Jan, former PPP general secretary District West, is also trying to set up the hydrants, while Shakeel Mehran, who has the largest network of brackish, has also tried to get the hydrants. However, Nasir Hussain Shah had advised them to choose between either the brackish water network or the hydrant.
Sources revealed that Sarmad Awan, owner of S2O Company, a contractor of Safora Hydrant, is also active to secure the hydrant while contractor of Steel Town Hydrant will also be a silent partner. The hydrant was supposed to be set up in NEK but the contractor of Safora managed to replace it with West District. It has been further revealed that a plan has also been made to transfer the hydrant back to the NEK in case of strong opposition from PTI and local residents of the area who may approach the court.
According to the documents received by MM News, there are several disadvantages of installing a hydrant at Mianwali pumping station. The space is narrow and hardly three or four pumping taps can be installed on the hydrant which will also affect the flow of traffic. Due to lack of parking space, the tankers will be parked on Manghopir Road.
According to records, two water lines of 66 and 48 inches diameter pass through Mianwali pumping station. The 48-inch diameter line is 40 years old while the 66-inch diameter line was laid a year ago. The pumping station supplies water to Surjani, Baldia, SITE Area, Kanwari Colony, Qasba Colony, Manghopir, Banaras, Paharganj and other areas.
These areas were supplied with water through Hub pumping station at different times two to three days in a week while water supply. Now after installing another hydrant on this 66-inch line, a water crisis has risen in these areas which can worsen the situation.