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Kamal warns K-4 project will not end Karachi's water woes.

Byline: Azfar-ul-Ashfaque

KARACHI -- Pak Sarzameen Party chairman Mustafa Kamal has said Karachi will continue to face serious water problems even after completion of the much-hyped K-4 water supply project because of non-allocation of a fresh water quota to the country's commercial capital.

Mr Kamal, who has been claiming that his party is doing issues-based politics and not on ethnic lines, explained that at present work was under way to complete the phase 1 of the K-IV project that would add 260 million gallons per day to existing 650 million gallons daily being supplied to the city by the Karachi Water and Sewerage Board from Keenjhar Lake and Hub Dam against the real demand of 1,240MGD.

He said that the construction work for the phase 2 was yet to begin, but even with the successful completion of the two phases of the K-4 project, how water would be supplied to these lines as the existing quota for Karachi i.e. 1,268 cusec allocated during the Zia regime had already been exhausted.

The city gets only 1.51pc of province's total water quota

'I have submitted before the Supreme Court that the last quota of the 100MGD was utilised by the K-3 project and thus the K-4 project may not receive new water resources as per the existing circumstances,' he said.

Mr Kamal, under whose tenure as the Karachi mayor the city saw completion of the K-3 project around 10 years back, said Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah had said on record that if the Indus River System Authority (Irsa) provided more water to Sindh, then he would be in position to provide that to Karachi.

'Irsa provides around 36,370MGD of water to Sindh of which Karachi receives only 550MGD that makes up a small 1.51 per cent of the total quota of Sindh,' he said, adding that it was ironic that the population of Karachi was over one-fourth of the total population of the province but the water it got was not even 5pc of the province's total share.

Mr Kamal, who was also a former chairman of the KWSB, said that he had requested the Supreme Court that the current water requirement of the city was around 1,200MGD and 'it is essential to allocate the same from Sindh's share so that K-4 Phase- 1 and 2 shall have required resources to supply water to Karachi'.

He said that the K-4 project was a corridor of around 130 kilometres beginning from the Keenjhar Lake and ends on the outskirts of Karachi and it had the capacity for future extension by simply laying more water lines.

It was a 1,000-foot corridor with a maximum capacity of 10 dedicated 100 feet lines each planned for the expansion over the next 50 years as per the increase in demand for Karachi.

But, he said that contrary to the CM's claim that Phase 1 would be completed by June this year, in view of the current pace it appeared that the completion of K-4 would be in 2020.

He said that to save the cost and with minimum additional funds K-4 Phase-2 must be initiated and completed alongside Phase-1.

He pointed out that even if K-4 was completed, it would not be able to supply water to the people of Karachi as main trunk lines and internal network of the KWSB within the city had not been upgraded and no new trunk lines lay to ensure supply of water to the uncovered areas such as Lyari, Orangi, Defence, etc.

The PSP chief said there was a dire need to install main trunk line to cover the entire city to ensure water supply.

In the absence of a proper line network, the tanker mafia would continue to operate in the city with impunity.

He also disputed the provisional results of the sixth population results that put the population of Karachi at a mere 16 million.

In fact, for all practical purposes the population of Karachi was approximately 25m and according to international experts it would reach 30m by 2020, he said.

He contested a recent claim made by the Sindh CM that in the light of the provisional census results Karachi required 800MGD of water to meet its requirements.

'This will be a huge planning error to ignore at least nine million people and their need of water for daily life,' he said.
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Publication:Dawn (Karachi, Pakistan)
Geographic Code:9PAKI
Date:Feb 5, 2018
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