Don’t We Have Bottled Water?

Firoze Phadaywala, founder and chairman of FP Developments, who is also president of the All-Karachi Builders and Developers Association, is meeting with GulPir Shigafvi, founder and chairman of GPS Real Estate Agencies, who is also president of Greater Karachi Real Estate Agents Association, are meeting to discuss the on going slowdown in Pakistan’s, and especially their metropolis’ property market.

“Whether people like it or not, but the growing political challenges for Muslims after Donald Trump became president of America proved good for our industry. Trump’s hate message contributed in convincing many overseas Pakistanis to make an early decision of having a second home in the country,” said Phadaywala.

“Indeed Firoze, one man’s loss is the other man’s gain. Any advertisement, we placed in Pakistani newspapers in America used to get so much response. At GPS Real Estate, I set up a special number to receive the volume of American calls,” informed GulPir Shigafvi.

“You right GulPir, you are right. But for this useless Supreme Court of ours! The same Supreme Court that wrote a judgment in English that our Prime Minister Mian Nawaz Sharif could not understand why he was thrown out, yes … the same Supreme Court obliged the Sindh Building Control Authority (SBCA) to completely ban construction of buildings beyond ground-plus-two floors in the city. And for what … that Karachi has water shortage.

“Isn’t this insane, GulPir? You have Defense Societies One to Ten or whatever, and do any of them have a drop of water? What are tankers for?”

“Firoze, if Ayub Khan had not shifted the capital out of Karachi to Islamabad, we would have a Supreme Court living here … one using tanker water.

“Firoze, would that Court pass such a mindless judgment?

“Really, who cares for water? Have ever seen a single overseas Pakistani drinking tap water during their stay in Karachi. All you see is cases upon cases of bottled water going out of stores.

“I would say, we would be offering multi-storied building with no plumbing for potable water. It is an unnecessary expense!

“I would say the we have to admit that we failed to properly lobby the Karachi Water and Sewage Board (KWSB) because it was KWSB that moved the court to slap a ban on new high-rise projects … and you note that due to its … the KWSB’s inability to provide enough water connections.”

“But GulPir, we can’t blame the KWSB because it is for this reason, it is providing opportunities and jobs to thousands in the water tanker industry. And does any tanker company sell water at government fixed rates? The only thing we hear during the Eid holidays is that all water tankers will be sold at government rates. Does it happen! Ever!

“GulPir, we should call meetings of the boards of our organizations and suggest that we file a review petition in the Supreme Court. I think that we stand a fair chance.

“Our lawyers should cite the World Bank study of 2009 that there was a shortage of 7.5 million housing units in Pakistan, which increases by 0.35 million housing units every year. Thus according to the World Bank’s estimates, there must be a housing shortage of at least 10.3 million units in 2017. This should sway the court.

“On top of that I have found a very useful argument. It is said that during a time France was facing a bread shortage, and their queen asked why are these people protesting. When she was told that they are protesting for bread, she rightly suggested why all the protest about bread when you can eat cake!

“All this crying about water holds no water when you have abundance of bottled water available everywhere.”

“Firoze, you are right. In our review petition we will give the assurance that every building we construct will have a coin operated water bottle dispenser!

“Is it the builders or real estate sector’s obligation to build and sell housing that has water supplies?

“Even Gwadar Port is being built without a water supply.

“Yes you are right! Don’t we have bottled water?”

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