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Karachi: The Sindh government has decided to establish two seawater desalination plants on the coast of Karachi to overcome the acute shortage of potable water for the residents of the provincial capital.

The decision to this effect was reached at a meeting chaired by Sindh Chief Minister, Syed Murad Ali Shah, to review mega development projects for Karachi.

The desalination plants will be used to provide water to the residents of the old city areas and the neighbourhood of the Defence Housing Authority (DHA) near the seaside. The proposed desalination plants will each supply five million gallons daily (MGD) water to the city.

The meeting was informed that around 20 million people resided in Karachi and they required 1200 MGD water as against it 655 MGD water being supplied to the city. Karachi has been facing around 535 MGD water shortage.

Sindh Local Government Minister, Syed Nasir Hussain Shah, said the Karachi Water & Sewerage Board (KWSB) had prepared a scheme to establish a desalination plant for the residents of the city’s South District near the coast.

The KWSB has proposed three locations for setting up the desalination plant in the city i.e. Ibrahim Hyderi, near Ayesha Mosque in DHA Phase-7, and near Village Restaurant at Sea View. The CM finalised the spot of Ibrahim Hyderi in Korangi Creek. The water to be produced by the desalination plant would be supplied to the city through the Ghazi pumping station of the KWSB. If the Ghazi pumping station develops a fault, then another pumping station of the water utility is available in the area as backup.

The CM directed the officials to establish another desalination plant on Karachi’s coastline for the residents of the old area of Lyari.

Shah also directed the Local Government Minister to hold talks with a private firm, which had installed a desalination facility of 1.2 MGD capacity for the Karachi Nuclear Power Plant (KANUPP). The KANUPP is no more using the plant after setting up the same seawater filtration facility on its own. The CM said the desalination plant built for KANUPP could be utilised for the city after acquiring and enhancing its capacity.

The Local Government Minister said that he had held an initial meeting with the relevant private firm as it had expressed its willingness to enhance the desalination capacity of the KANUPP’s plant.

It is worth mentioning that an earlier Cogeneration desalination plant, having also the capacity to produce 94 Megawatts of electricity, set up in DHA Phase-8 in 2008 operated for a brief period of time as it developed technical faults soon after its inauguration.