Karachi: The Karachi Water and Sewerage Board (KWSB) has expressed its inability to provide water by tankers at subsidised rates or otherwise for the residents of Defence any more, and has asked the Defence Housing Authority (DHA) to arrange water for the residents from its own system.

The managing director of the water utility, Misbahuddin Farid, in a letter addressed to the DHA administrator, said on Monday the utility had completely stopped the supply of water from its hydrants, so that the citizens could be provided with piped water.

He said that as long as the utility’s hydrants were open, it was providing water for ministers, advisers and elected public representatives by tankers at subsidised rates as a gesture of courtesy, even though the DHA had its own water supply system.

Farid stressed that it was the responsibility of the DHA to provide all its residents with water through pipelines or tankers. The authority was also told that tanker water would not be supplied to swimming pools in the locality as well.

Although the hydrants had been shut down, the VIPs of the DHA were still contacting the KWSB for the water tanker service, which was not possible for the utility any more, he added.

It has been learnt from reliable sources that 80 percent of the KWSB hydrants were being utilised by DHA residents as aroaund 6,000 to 7,000 water tankers used to supply water to

the posh locality of the metropolis.

The KWSB used to supply water to VIPs at subsidised rates, commonly known as government public tanker service. According to sources, the VIPs who got the subsidised water tanker service included Jam Mehtab, former Sindh governor Moinuddin Haider, Deputy Speaker Sindh Assembly Shehla Raza, and MNAs Sardar Raees and Waseem Akhtar.

They said the VIPs used to enjoy the water tanker service every second or third day at subsidized rates. The KWSB used to charge Rs650 for 3,000 gallons and Rs550 for 2,000 gallons from the VIPs.

The basic idea behind subsidised rates for the water tanker service was to provide water to low-income groups, which did not have access to tap water. These underprivileged citizens were supposed to approach some hydrants to benefit from the water tanker service.

After the registration of their names, they were provided with water generally after three to four days. They were also required to guide the tanker driver toward their homes at the scheduled time whether it was day or night. However, the payment of commercial rates would ensure a quick delivery of water.

The provision of water through the hydrants in the Defence area had created a water shortage in low-income areas, including Korangi, Akhtar Colony, Kashmir Colony and some areas of Landhi.