KARACHI - The Supreme Court mandatory Water Commission on Monday directed water board to disconnect the illegal connections across the city.

The Ministry of Defence has assured not to discharge untreated sewerage into sea. The commission expressed its annoyance over territorial dispute between Defence Housing Authority (DHA) and Cantonment Board of Clifton (CBC) and directed them to resolve the issue or else the commission may impose ban on all kind of construction.

The commission observed that both the authorities have failed to take appropriate action for provision of clean water in the upscale housing locality and the disposal of its sewage.

On the direction of the commission, Ministry of Defence (MoD) appeared before the Water Commission and assured that Clifton Cantonment Board (CBC) and Defence Housing Authority (DHA) will not discharge untreated sewerage into the sea. A sewerage treatment plant will be installed at Kablai Khan area by August 2019 and untreated sewerage discharge into storm water drains would be diverted to the treatment plant in four month as per the directives of the water commission.

Also, no untreated sewerage discharge by restaurants would be allowed into the sea, the ministry Joint Secretary Farooq Hassan assured the water commission, headed by Justice (r) Amir Hani Muslim, which deliberated upon the disposing off of sewerage at the sea from areas fall in the jurisdiction of CBC and DHA here on Monday.

The joint secretary appeared in the proceedings on behalf of secretary defence, who was summoned by the commission to appear in the commission over the discharge of sewerage to the sea by DHA and CBC.

The joint secretary told the commission that Ministry of Defence secretary conducted a meeting in Islamabad on May 31, in compliance with the orders of the commission. The meeting unanimously decided that the DHA would execute the proposed treatment plant.

The commission directed that proposed treatment should cater the needs of the entire DHA and stated that sewerage of Phase VIII, which is presently being developed by the DHA, should be catered by existing treatment plant.

However, for the remaining Phase-I to VIII, the discharge of sewerage water is debatable as some of the phases were planned in such manner that their sewerage was to be treated through Mehmoodabad Treatment Plant.

However, Karachi Water & Sewerage Board (KW&SB) managing director refuted if as according to him, the Mehmoodbad Treatment Plant does not include the treatment of sewerage of any phase of the DHA.

The commission directed that its focal person Asif Hyder Shah would coordinate with the DHA, cantonment board and MD Water Board & Project director of treatment plant to streamline how this proposed treatment plant is to be constructed.

It also needs to be elevated as to what should be the capacity of the proposed treatment the plant.

The focal person would also coordinate with the stakeholders about distribute of water to different cantonment boards. The commission was informed that there are 114 connections, which water board awarded to different cantonment boards and other related installations around 41 connections are metered whereas 73 connections are non-metered.

The commission ordered that water board should install meters to all the connections by receiving the charges from the beneficiary as well as cameras should be installed for transparency purpose.

About loadshedding on pumping stations of water board, commission was of the view that issue can be sorted out through mutual coordination of water board and K-Electric by assistance from commission through its focal person.

It directed MD water board to pay off the amount due on RO Plants, which K-Electric stated that it has not been paid off so far. The commission ordered water board to pay the amount to the KE within seven days.

The commission did not accept the contention of the water board that illegal connection should be first disconnected from bulk supply.

The commission directed the water board to take steps from disconnecting the illegal connections wherever these are and submit a periodical report with it.