KWSB chief says protesters are stopping water from being pumped
Residents of Nusrat Bhutto Colony blocked traffic at Sakhi Hassan Chowrangi in Karachi's North Nazimabad on Sunday to protest against a water shortage.
They first went to the Sakhi Hassan pumping station before going to the main chowrangi and blocking traffic. They say they won't move until they get water.
But the managing director of the KWSB, Asadullah Khan, says that they don't seem to understand the issue. There was a technical fault at the pumping station, he told SAMAA TV, adding that someone stole the gearbox at the station four days ago. When our team arrived at the station to pump the water, they found that someone had stolen the valve's gearbox, he said.
The water board doesn't have someone sitting at the pumping station to guard the gearbox all day. He said that there are two issues here; one is that the gearbox was stolen and the second that the residents of Nusrat Bhutto Colony don't pay their water bills.
Our recovery from Nusrat Bhutto Colony is zero, Khan said. However, because the board does not operate for profit, it chose to provide them water on a humanitarian basis, he said. The board has been giving the residents of the colony water for the past 10 to 15 years without receiving a single penny, he added.
If it were a private company running this board, we would never give them water, he said. He said that they need to understand that by stopping pumping at the station they are stopping other people -- residents of Nazimabad's L Block -- from getting water. The valve issue has been resolved and I've contacted the District Central deputy commissioner to bring in the police to remove them so we can begin pumping water and giving it to the people whose turn it is.
He said that even though their turn to receive water is actually in four days, the board will cut someone else's share to give them a day's worth of water. Blocking the road won't do anything, he warned.
But protesters aren't pacified by this. They claim that the valve develops issues every other week. They have been joined by residents of other areas who also say that areas where the board does recover dues aren't getting water either.