KARACHI – The Karachi Electric Supply Company (KESC) on Thursday refuted the allegation levelled by the Karachi Water & Sewerage Board (KWSB) that power outages crippled its pumping stations and triggered acute water shortage in various city neighbourhoods.

The suspension of power to Dhabeji-linked pumping stations triggered a disruption in supply of water to major areas of the east, south and central districts of the city.  While the water board argued that due to frequent power cuts, its pumping stations developed mechanical problems and the city faced nearly 50.5 MGD water shortage, the power utility contended that it did not suspend power supply.

The board’s pumping stations had been exempted from power loadshedding, spokesperson for the KESC said, asserting that faulty and dilapidated cables on premises of pumping stations caused outages and other technical faults. He also said that KWSB’s demand for an inquiry into the matter would go fruitless. “The KESC has no problem with any inquiry as being demanded by the KWSB management.”

Areas of North Nazimabad, Gulistan-e-Jauhar, Mehmoodabad, Korangi, Shah Faisal, Defence, Malir and Landhi remained starved of water. “During Eid holidays, Gharo and Pipri pumping stations also suffered frequent electricity cuts and could not supply 170 million gallons of water,” a spokesman of the KWSB said while adding that the power utility did not keep its commitment, besides flouting orders of the Sindh High Court in this respect.

KWSB MD Misbah Fariduddin appealed to government functionaries to constitute a high-level committee to assess the damages caused to the board’s machinery owing to unrestrained power cuts for the past six months. He asked authorities to probe that whether incessant power outages were part of any conspiracy to deprive the citizens of water. It may be mentioned here that the KWSB had outstanding dues of over Rs17 billion, while its electricity bill – that remain unpaid consistently – ranges between Rs350 million and Rs400 million (for a single month).

“It seems that the KWSB management remains unable to correct its inefficiencies and faulty policies, and is adamant on using the KESC as a scapegoat,” the KESC stated as it asked the board to be regular in payment of bills.

FUUAST’S APPEAL TO HEC CHIEF: Senate members of the Federal Urdu University of Arts, Science and Technology (FUUAST) on Thursday made a special appeal to the chairman of Higher Education Commission, Dr Jawaid Leghari to make sure his presence in the upcoming meeting of the university’s senate, scheduled to be held on August 25 (tomorrow).

FUUAST senate members, including Prof Nasir Abbas and Seema Naz, have pointed that the presence of the HEC chief could make sure the speedy implementation of the university’s chancellor’s decision about the appointment of vice chancellor of the FUUAST.

Seema Naz said that the letter, written to by the University’s Chancellor President Asif Ali Zardari by the HEC chief, will also be discussed in the meeting. In the letter, the officials showed their reservations on the names of candidates for vice chancellor by the search committee.