The line was repaired on Sunday
A recent pipeline burst revealed how little the Karachi Water and Sewerage Board knows about Karachi’s water supply and lines.
A 66-inch water line burst at the University of Karachi on June 11. It has now been repaired.
The water board had, however, issued a press statement reportedly misquoting the facts about the pipeline and attributed it to Managing Director Asadullah Khan. It was said that it was an 84-inch line which was supplying water to District Central, adding that the line burst open because of the increased pressure on it to meet the demands of the said district.
When SAMAA Digital contacted KWSB Chief Engineer Bulk Water Supply Zafar Palejo, he shared contradictory information.
Palejo, who looks after line repair work, remarked that the pipeline had a diameter of 66 inches and not 84 inches. He said that the line is at least 50 years old and a weak portion of its burst open due to water pressure. He shared that the teams repaired an eight-foot-long iron piece after which the water supply was restored.
“The busted line does not supply water to District Central”, he clarified, adding that the district’s supply was not at all affected. This line supplies water to Gulshan-e-Iqbal, Gulistan-e-Jauhar, Askari IV, Gulshan-e-Jamal, and adjacent areas.
He explained that District Central has four designated supply lines: North-East Karachi pumping station, a 66-inch line at Old Sabzi Mandi near Edhi Centre, two water lines near Gulshan-e-Maymar, and a new 48-inch line near Hub Canal.
The purpose to misquote the information was, it seems, for KWSB to show that it tried to increase the water supply to District Central but it couldn’t happen. But why was the water board focusing on this district?
This is because a few days after Central Deputy Commissioner M B Dharejo ordered the authorities to operate the hydrant at Sakhi Hasan, which supplies water to the district, for eight hours instead of 18 hours.
The idea to restrict the supply timings was to ensure that people get water in their lines regularly and extra water is not taken from the hydrant. Even, the residents said that the limited timings have improved the water supply in Nazimabad and North Nazimabad.
KWSB authorities had, however, expressed their concerns over the directives. They claimed that the hydrant facilitated the residents and restricted timings would make it more difficult for them to “serve the masses”.