The Pakistan Rangers Sindh (PRS) and the Karachi Water and Sewerage Corporation (KWSC) have taken action against water theft by shutting down 150 illegal hydrants and 1,200 illegal connections. This has saved 100 million gallons of water per day (MGD), which was being stolen for commercial and domestic use, causing a loss of around Rs13 billion.
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The stolen water was being sold to industrial and domestic consumers at more than two or three times the official rate, resulting in a hefty loss to KWSC per month. The theft of water affected the residents of several localities like Baldia, Site, Keamari, and Lyari.
The operations against water theft started on September 17, 2023, and have targeted illegal hydrants, pumping stations, illegal connections, and the tanker “mafia.” As a result of these operations, the supply of water has been improved to a large extent in different areas of Karachi, including Clifton, Orangi, Qasba Colony, New Karachi, Gadap, and Baldia.
The Rangers official said that the operation against water theft is being carried out against the “water mafia” without any discrimination. While some illegal hydrants are being destroyed, certain connections are being regularized as per laws where necessary.
He added that a major mode of water theft is related to underground drinking water (sub-surface) from where water is being obtained through illegal connections of motors. A total of 93 operations against 187 illegal hydrants have been conducted, out of which, 24 illegal water hydrants were sealed while 163 others were destroyed. During these actions, a total of 163 persons were arrested against whom FIRs have been registered.
Due to these operations, approximately 20% of the water being stolen has returned back to the supply system of KWSC. Disruption to the supply system has also been reduced, resulting in an increase in the supply of water.
The officials said that around one thousand additional water tankers have been registered by the KWSC, which would provide water to the citizens at the official rate. They urged the citizens to register themselves at KWSC to get water at an official rate.
The Rangers official said that the PRS in collaboration with the KWSC will continue these operations until all water theft is eliminated.
In summary, the PRS and KWSC have taken significant action against water theft by shutting down illegal hydrants and connections. This has saved water, improved the water supply in Karachi, and reduced losses to KWSC.