Reason for Karachi running Dry of Water
KARACHI: Members of the ruling elite, top military and civil officials as well as law enforcement agencies are among the defaulters of the Karachi Water and Sewerage Board as they failed to pay collective outstanding dues of over Rs40 million for the water tanker service they availed in the year 2012-13, it emerged on Sunday.
While the defaulters include the corps commander, Sindh governor and chief minister, Pakistan Rangers, Sindh topped the list as they consumed water costing over Rs15m but did not bother to pay the outstanding dues to the water utility.
A report relating to the period concerned, prepared by the Auditor General of Pakistan, was recently submitted to Sindh Governor Dr Ishratul Ibad — himself a KWSB defaulter — by the director general of the audit (local councils), Muhammad Ali Shah Bukhari.
The report would be sent to Sindh Assembly Speaker Agha Siraj Durrani, who is also a defaulter, so that the assembly’s public accounts committee could consider it and issue directions for the recovery.
It said that the KWSB supplied water through tankers to various agencies/dignitaries on prescribed charges, but failed to recover outstanding dues amounting to over Rs40m during 2012-13 in violation of rules.
The report stated that according to a KWSB office memorandum dated Oct 19, 2012 the “gratis tanker service shall seize to exist as per present practice and all recipients of water through water tankers will be charged as per prescribed rates”.
The names of the defaulters with outstanding amount as mentioned in the report are: the Corps Commander House in Bath Island (Rs749,000); office of the military intelligence in Bath Island (Rs1.2m); the director general of the Airport Security Force (Rs1.78m).
Of the Rs15m outstanding against Sindh Rangers, the wing commander of Sachal Rangers in Sakhi Hassan (Rs5.78m); wing commander of Sachal Rangers in Baldia Town (Rs1.98m); wing commander of Bhittai Rangers (Rs 4.7m); and Sachal Rangers Headquarters (Rs 3.2m).
Sindh Governor Ibad (Rs2.99m); CM Syed Qaim Ali Shah (Rs374,000); Senior Education Minister Nisar Khuhro (residence), who was at that time the speaker of the Sindh Assembly (Rs445,000); the then and also incumbent deputy speaker Shehla Raza (residence) (Rs94,000).
Speaker Durrani (residence), who was at that time the local government minister, (Rs1.12m); Information Minister Sharjeel Memon (residence), who currently holds the portfolio of the LG department, (Rs218,000); then education minister Pir Mazhar-ul-Haq (residence) (Rs865,000); then transport minister Akhtar Jadoon (Rs1.66m); then MNA Abdul Qadir Patel (residence) (Rs475,000).
The Bilawal House — the residence of the then president Asif Ali Zardari and Pakistan Peoples Party chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari — in Clifton is also a KWSB defaulter of over Rs 2.99m.
The official residence of the chief secretary on Club Road (Rs400,000); provincial ombudsman Asad Ashraf Malik (residence) (Rs117,000); services secretary (Rs400,000); Police Headquarters Garden (Rs 2.3m).
The Karachi Metropolitan Corporation administrator (Rs 2.3m); administrator of Keamari Town (Rs161,000), administrator of Shah Faisal Town (Rs887,000); administrator of Saddar Town (Rs 2.3m) and administrator of Lyari Town (Rs 587,000).
The report said that the military secretary to the Sindh governor informed the audit team that the amount in question had been paid to the KWSB. However, the audit team found that the payment was related to some previous outstanding liabilities and not the current one, the report added.
The DG-ASF informed the audit team that the water his department got was free of cost. But his reply was not in conformity with the KWSB notification, the report said.
According to the report, the matter was reported in June 2014, but the KWSB management failed to provide departmental point of view. The principal accounts officer also failed to convene the departmental accounts committee meeting to discuss audit objections despite pursuance by the audit.
The audit report called for fixing responsibilities on account of laxity of the management to recover the outstanding dues from dignitaries and defaulting agencies. All concerned may be pursued to deposit outstanding liabilities under intimation to audit, the report added.
Mr Bokhari of the audit department said that the influential defaulters had not yet cleared the KWSB dues.
He said that the defaulting agencies failed to take appropriate measures for realisation/depositing of outstanding dues resulting in less revenue and weak financial control.
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