KARACHI - Political parties including Muttahida Qaumi Movement, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf and Jamaat-e-Islami those have remained divided on various issues seem to have similar stance on the prevailing water crisis in Karachi.

All these parties have launched protest drive over the issue and holding demonstrations in various parts of the metropolis.

MQM that terms the water crisis an artificial shortage created by the PPP-led provincial government has been regularly organising demonstrations since May 22, demanding the rulers to take measures to resolve the issue. Continuing its protests against water shortage in Sindh especially in Karachi, MQM held a demonstration in Korangi No 5 on Monday.

The residents of Landhi and Korangi carrying placards and banners inscribed with slogans “Karachi Ko Pani Do”, “Stop victimisation of Karachiites” and others participated in the demo. They also chanted “Go Sharjeel Memon Go” and demanded the provincial rulers to provide fundamental rights to the people of Karachi.

Addressing the demonstrations MQM leaders said federal and provincial government despite being aware of the issues of Karachi did not bother to pay any heed to resolve water crisis and other issues of Karachi. The citizens kept paying their taxes for the economic prosperity of the country.

They demanded the provincial government to place ban on the illegal sale of water and take strict action against the illegal hydrants and tanker mafia.

Jamaat-e-Islami Karachi chapter has also announced a series of protests in the city against the non-availability of water. It organised protest demonstration at the Matric Board Office roundabout in North Nazimabad area. Protestors raised placards and banners inscribed with anti-provincial government and KWSB management slogans. JI Karachi chief Hafiz Naeemur Rehman urged the people to elect honest and competent leadership with their power of votes in the upcoming Local Bodies’ polls. The people who shed crocodile tears were the main culprits and responsible of the prevailing water crisis, he said. Non-serious attitude of PPP and MQM governments and the local administrations had compelled the Karachiites to take to the streets and stage protest demonstrations against non-availability of water and power.

He said the coalition partners in previous governments - PPP and MQM - had destroyed the infrastructure including road, railways and other transportation systems. The previous governments of MQM and PPP have also failed to increase the water supply quota as per the requirement of population. Naeem demanded to implement K-4 water project immediately, installation of desalination plants and recycling of industrial water to eliminate the water shortage of the masses.

PTI Karachi chapter has also staged demonstrations in the city against the water crisis. The party believes that the provincial government and MQM are responsible for the water crisis in Karachi, said PTI leader Dawa Khan Sabir while talking to The Nation. Party had hold a couple of demonstrations in the city over the issue. More protests would be held to bring the issue in the notice of the rulers. PTI leader further asked the government departments to ensure uninterrupted water supply during the Ramazan.

Meanwhile, residents of Golimar and surrounding areas staged protest against water shortage and prolonged power cuts. A large number of people participated in the protest. The angry protesters burnt tyres, blocked roads and chanted slogans against the water board and K-Electric authorities.

City to get 40mgd water from

desalination plant

Sindh Information and Local Government Minister Sharjeel Inam Memon said that agreement had been inked with the foreign companies for setting up of desalination plant in sea to provide sweet and mineral water to the citizens of Karachi.

He also announced that 40mgd water from this plant will be supplied to Karachi from the start of Ramazan whereas more 20mgd water would be provided within three months from the same system.

Addressing press conference on Monday at his office, the minister said the system was working successfully in most of the countries. He said government would sign an MoU with the foreign companies in next month for supply of 80mgd water from the desalination plant. The ground-breaking ceremony of K-4 project would be held on June 10 and Sindh chief minister will lay foundation stone of the project.   

He said the DHA residents were purchasing 3000 gallon water for Rs3,000 but the desalination water would be available in Rs1,500 and people would get sweet water. He said the same rental desalination plant would be set up in next few months.  

The minister said some elements were playing politics on water issue but government had decided to reply them through working and to provide water to the people. He said that government also decided to complete all the incomplete water supply schemes in this year and more than 800 milion rupees would be allocated in the upcoming budget for this purpose.

He said the Sindh government was ready to hold local bodies’ election on September 20 and conveyed the election commission about this decision. He said PPP believed in democracy and arrangements for the LB election were almost completed in Sindh. The minister criticised the Khybar Pakhtunkhwa government for arresting ANP leader Mian Iftikhar Hussain and termed this act political victimisation. He said PTI must avoid repeating past political trends otherwise the democratic system would be damaged.

Memon rejected the impression that there were any differences between PPP chairman Bilawal Bhutto and co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari. He added that both the party leaders are playing their role for strengthening the democracy and democratic system in the country.

The minister said Zulfiqar Mirza became the part of the past and PPP chairman had already used the word ‘Brutus’ for him and there was no need to give reply to his allegations.

Criticising a TV channel for telecasting baseless and concocted news about him, he advised the channel either prove the allegation leveled in that baseless news or apologise in the same manner. He said this was not the freedom of press to level allegations without proofs.

Memon asked the channel to prove the recovery of deposited two billion rupees from his home. He denied that there was no raid conducted at his home and the news is propaganda against him. The minister said same allegations were also leveled against the PPP leaders but not a single charge had been proved.