Water crisis hits areas dependent on supply from Hub Canal

By Staff Reporter | DAWN Aug 1, 2022

Acute water shortages in the metropolis, especially in district West, continued on Saturday as the water supply from Hub Dam could not be fully restored because of delays in plugging of a 150-foot breach developed in the Hub Canal.

Sources said that only 64 million gallons of water could be released in the Hub Canal that supplied 100 million gallons of water daily to the city.

The canal developed a breach last week mainly due to overflowing of Hub Dam located 56 kilometres from Karachi.

They said that the repair work was delayed due to intermittent rains, but some work had been done.

The sources said that less water was being released in the Hub Canal as a precautionary measure to check the strength of the wall built to plug the breach. The precaution is being taken to ensure that no further damage is done to the repaired portion of the water passage.

The dam on July 18 had filled to capacity and finally started to overflow due to the heavy spell of monsoon rains in Balochistan and its level reached 340 feet leading to spill over of the reservoir.

Wapda officials said that water level in the dam was still between 339 and 340 feet and water was being released through the spillway.

The dam’s level was 322 feet before the start of the monsoon rains in Balochistan and its level had already risen to its maximum capacity of 340 feet.

Last week a breach in the Hub Canal led to suspension of water supply to district West, which could not be fully restored so far. Because of the suspension of the water supply, people dependent on the water from the dam faced a great deal of problems.

Residents of different localities, including Baldia Town and Orangi Town, said that the water scarcity in their areas had made their life miserable.

They said that the delay in plugging of the breach in the Hub Canal had caused a great deal of hardship in their localities.

A resident of Baldia Town said that a tank of 1,000-litre built on a Suzuki pick-up earlier available at Rs700 was being sold at Rs1,000 to Rs1,500 in his area.

He said there were many localities where regular water tanker could not reach due to narrow lanes. “We rely on these small water carriers, but it is very difficult for most of the residents to pay that much price for a 1,000-litre tank,” he added.

A spokesman for the water utility said that the quantity of water would be increased in the Hub Canal gradually. “By tomorrow (Sunday), 70 million gallons of water will be released in the canal,” he said, adding that the 100 million gallons of water supply to the city would be completely restored in two days.

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