Karachi dead in the water | Pakistan Today

Karachi dead in the water

  • The Sindh government has failed miserably

Despite an intervention by the federal government, through the NDMA and Pakisan Army rescue teams, to resolve Karachi’s urban-flooding crisis brought about by monsoon rains, the metropolis continues to suffer with eight rain-related deaths on Friday in various parts of the city, six of which were due to electrocution and the rest by drowning. Teams from the centre had started cleaning major storm-water drains so that this current spell of rains would cause relatively less severe flooding, and while some areas did benefit from this, it was simply not enough to fully contain the situation, as evidenced by the loss of life. Karachi is simply too ill-equipped, and thus grossly mismanaged, from an administrative standpoint that monsoon rains wreaking havoc each year is an eventuality. The city’s infrastructure has had this handicap for decades and, in the absence of the necessary civil work that should be undertaken by the Sindh government and city administration, it deteriorates, leading to a worse situation each passing year.

PPP Co-Chairman Bilalwal Bhutto Zardari is currently up in Prime Minister Imran Khan’s grill over the latter’s shortcomings after being in office for more than two years. Had the PPP addressed obvious deficiencies in Karachi’s drainage and waste management problems over the past 12 years that it has been in power in Sindh, the party chairman’s criticism of the federal government’s performance would have been merited as Karachi would perhaps not have been drowning. The PPP is not solely responsible for the literal mess that Karachi is swimming in these days. The MQM, currently in a cushy alliance with the PTI at the centre and hence not receiving an appropriate amount of backlash, ran Karachi for at least a decade and their performance is equally dismal. Both parties have sat in positions of power and done practically nothing to address the perennial problems faced by the citizens of Karachi. The city is the business hub of the country, and severe disruptions in logistics due to annual rains not only hurt existing businesses but discourage potential investors whose feasibility includes ease and cost of transporting goods. One hopes this year’s monsoon knocks some sense into politicians elected to resolve the people’s problems rather than ignoring them.