Water is About to Get Even More Expensive in Karachi Soon

Sindh Assembly unanimously passed a bill, on Thursday, that will transform the Karachi Water and Sewerage Board (KWSB) into a corporation.

The bill, titled ‘The Karachi Water and Sewerage Corporation Bill, 2023’, will allow the corporation to operate as a profit-making utility and address the growing demand for clean water in Karachi.

Parliamentary Affairs Minister, Mukesh Kumar Chawla, presented the bill, which was then sent to the Standing Committee on Law, Parliamentary Affairs, and Human Rights for further review.

The new law grants the Karachi Water and Sewerage Corporation (KWSC) the power to outsource water supply and sewerage maintenance, as well as other related services such as communication, complaint management, and collection of user fees and charges from consumers in low-income areas and Katchi Abadis.

The bill’s introduction explains that establishing a corporation is necessary to incorporate all essential elements that would transform the utility into a profitable organization and address the growing water demand. The bill aims to ensure effective and modern management, rationalize tariff and fee recovery, and promote accountability.

The city Mayor will serve as the chairperson of the corporation, with a Chief Executive Officer (CEO) appointed by the board for a four-year term.

The corporation will operate based on sound commercial practices to generate sufficient revenue for operational and maintenance costs, including a reasonable return on investment. It will also develop strategic plans for sustainable provision of potable water and sewage disposal.

The KWSC will be responsible for collecting tariffs, charges, and fees, including betterment fees for water supply, groundwater extraction, sewage services, and arrears. Financial sustainability will be ensured by the corporation.

Additionally, the corporation will have the authority to borrow funds from sources within or outside Pakistan to meet capital expenditure requirements and fulfill its functions.

The KWSC board will be chaired by the city mayor or, in their absence, by the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation administrator. The board will consist of seven ex-officio members and six non-official members with expertise in different technical fields.

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