KARACHI - Residents of 500 Quarters on Hawksbay Road made reverse osmosis (RO) plant functional after unlocking its doors on Tuesday.

The facility had been out of order since long. The residents also blame the local management for the mismanagement of these plants which were intended to install to provide clean drinking water to the dwellers of the city’s coastal belt community.

“Can you believe, it just needs Rs 20,000 to make it functional,” commented Malik Fazal Ilahi, a local UC Chairman, adding that “The company, Pak Owasis, which was responsible for making it functional, even failed to invest this amount.”

He said now the area people decided to enter the RO plant facility by breaking the lock.

“Now the plant will be run with the help of local people that bear it’s all expenses,” he added.

The decades old fishermen villages located at Hawksbay are still deprived of clean drinking water as mostly the RO plants remained dysfunctional. While the residents are also not being provided water through line and getting water by tankers by paying Rs 500 to 300 for each tanker. “The poor people can’t afford to buy tankers, the tankers are allowed to fill water from RO plants but the locals are not provided water from the plants,” said area resident Abdul Hameed. 

On the other hand, the government’s authorities have also failed to comply with the apex court order to enhance the performance of the reverse osmosis plants in Karachi, the people of the coastal areas are still deprived of drinking water.

It has been observed that the purpose of providing potable water could not be achieved nor would there be any justification to spend such a huge amount on their operations and maintenance.

Ali Akber Shah, a social activist, told The Nation that the area was being supplied water only four days a month through line from a RO plant in Younusabad. He said that tanker mafias are still working in Hawksbey and Kiamari areas.

The schemes to install RO plants worth Rs40 billion initiated in 2008, when the Pakistan People’s Party-led government presented the first budget. As many as eight RO plants were installed in Maripure to Hawksbey.

Ali Akbar Shah further said that there is no any arrangement from the government or any other department to maintain the RO plants; he added that the area people will have to pay from their pockets to maintain and run the RO plants properly.

It is pertinent to mention here that the RO plants are being run by private companies and they charge a high price from the government, which is 12 paisas per gallon, to convert saline water into potable water.

Ali Akbar Shah further demanded that Sindh government should run these RO Plants by itself or handover to KWSB or other government entity as Pak Owasis Company has failed to run these plants.