KARACHI – Karachi Water and Sewerage Board (KWSB) Managing Director Misbhauddin Fareed Saturday withdrew his resignation on insistence of Governor Ishrat-ul-Ebad.

Fareed addressed a press conference at his office and disclosed that over 222 FIRs were registered in drive against illegal hydrants and land mafia last year but police had so far been unable to arrest them.

Fareed urged to give ownership of land of around 26,263 acres to KWSB to protect the land from the mafia because the land is reserved for the future projects of KWSB. He said that he assumed the charge as KWSB MD after the assurance of governor, Minister Local Government Agha Siraj and Chief Secretary Raja Muhammad Abbas.

Misbah regretted that an illegal water hydrant was shut off at Northern Bypass but unfortunately court directed KWSB to reopen the hydrant and also ordered to return entire machinery. He said the hydrant was being run by police constable of Manghopir Police station. Area SHO is responsible for illegal hydrant operational in his jurisdiction, he accused. He informed that hardly 60 to 70 people are behind the business of illegal hydrants and it is not difficult for police to apprehend them.

Karachi is currently bearing a shortage of 320 millions of gallon water per day and the project named ‘K-IV’ would fulfil the demands as federal government had issued the funds in this regard. Fareed told that encroachments on another mega project ‘S-III’ land had been removed and work on the project would be started in near future.

He said KWSB would continue raising voice against illegal hydrant mafia at every stage.

Sindh Local Government Minister Agha Siraj Durrani on Friday rejected his resignation and asked to him to continue to oversee the affairs of the water utility. The biggest bone of contention was the Muslimabad Water Hydrant, which was closed by the KWSB in 2008 following the Sindh high Court’s Orders.

The KWSB chief was under immense pressure to reopen the hydrant, while some players in the provincial coalition government were opposing its revival.

The Sindh High Court on Friday ordered the KWSB to keep the Muslimabad Hydrant closed till the next hearing of the case on September 17, 2012. The court’s instructions provided some relief to the managing director.

Experts in the water board claimed that Karachi gets some 650 million gallons of water (mgd) to meet its domestic, commercial and industrial needs from Keenjhar Lake (550 mgd) and Hub Water Reservoir (110 mgd), but only half is supplied through the pipeline network.