Pakistan: Karachi attempting to desalinate water again, this time for low-income families

Karachi: After a failed attempt around 12 years back to make seawater fit for consumption by the residents of its posh neighbourhood, Karachi is making another attempt to desalinate the water of Arabian Sea but this time the beneficiaries will be low-income families of the city if the project becomes successful.

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This time the Sindh Government has been building a Reverse Osmosis (RO) Plant near the Manora beach to desalinate the seawater to be consumed by the deprived residents of Manora that is a small peninsula connected to the mainland Karachi through a road link.

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Earlier, in the year 2008, a Cogeneration Power and Desalination was inaugurated to produce three million gallons of desalinated water mainly for the residents of posh Defence Housing Authority neighbourhood of Karachi. The plant was capable of producing up to 94 Megawatts electricity as a useful by-product for the city. The plant became faulty after a brief period and could not be later revived despite efforts by different investors associated with the project.

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Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah came to Monora beach to inspect the waterfront development, including construction of beach gazebos, being taking place to revive the spot as an attractive tourist and recreational destination in the city. The CM also inaugurated a six-kilometre reconstructed road to revive the land route from Karachi’s Sandspit beach to Manora.

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The CM also visited the under-construction RO Plant in Manora whose 40 per cent work has been completed.

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The Sindh Government is spending a sum of Rs 427.6 million to construct the RO Plant to desalinate seawater for around 200,000 population of Manora. The plant will generate five million gallons of desalinated water daily. The plant will reduce the TDS (Total Dissolved Solids) value of the desalinated water to 500 milligram per litre to make it fit for human consumption as per the standards set by the World Health Organization.

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The CM directed Sindh Local Government Minister Syed Nasir Hussain Shah to complete the project by current financial year that would be completed on 30th June, 2021.

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Speaking on the occasion, the CM said that the inauguration of the six-kilometre road to link the Manora beach was the first development scheme launched in the newly established Keamari District of Karachi. He said that Keamari, being the seventh district of the city, would be developed as the model district of Karachi.

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He said that development of Manora beach would be a step forward by his government to overcome acute shortage of recreational spots for residents and visitors of Karachi especially along its shoreline.

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Plans are also afoot to construct a new desalination plant for the residents of DHA and Clifton areas in Karachi that faces acute shortage of portable water.

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A leading multinational brand of bottled water runs a filtration plant off the coast of Port Qasim, Karachi, miles away from the Monra beach, to use latest RO technology to produce drinking water for its large customer base.

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