Water shortages hit Karachi's poorest

Waiting up all night for water that’s only turned on for two hours at a time, once every two weeks.

That’s what Karachi’s poorest face – while its richest citizens have full swimming pools and drink only bottled water.

The Islamabad Chamber of Small Traders said on Sunday that water scarcity in Karachi had reached new heights and it could damage the national economy.

The government should take immediate steps as the concerned departments have failed to fulfill half of the water requirement of the city, it said.

Karachi needs 110 billion gallon water daily but it is getting 45 billion gallons which is insufficient, said Islamabad Chamber of Small Traders patron Shahid Rasheed Butt.

The highly influential tanker mafia is the major beneficiary of the intensified water crisis in the economic and financial capital of Pakistan, he added.

Shahid Rasheed Butt said the industrialists of Karachi are forced to pay around Rs 4 billion to tanker mafia to keep their units running while shortage of water has taken toll on textile and value-added industry.



He said that corrupt officials and tanker mafia has emerged as a serious threat to people and industry of Karachi as it has added to cost of doing business compromising competitiveness. He said that some officials are known for creating artificial shortage of water in different areas putting residents on the mercy of tanker mafia. The theft of water translates into benefit of Rs 5 billion for the tanker mafia while there are many officials who share the spoils, he said.

He said over 5,000 tankers have put extra burden on roads and bridges resulting in traffic congestion and terrorising masses.



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