Model Colony residents demand early repair to houses damaged in plane crash

Updated 03 Jun 2020

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PLANE crash affected residents of Model Colony speak at the press conference on Tuesday.—PPI
PLANE crash affected residents of Model Colony speak at the press conference on Tuesday.—PPI

KARACHI: Lamenting the lethargic attitude of the authorities concerned despite promises both from the federal and the provincial governments, affected residents of Model Colony’s Jinnah Garden, where a Pakistan International Airlines plane crashed on May 22, on Tuesday called for early rebuilding of their damaged houses and compensation for their properties.

Speaking at a press conference at the site of the PK-8303 crash, which claimed the lives of 99 passengers and crewmembers and one teenage girl on the ground, the residents said the governments and their officers were more interested in collecting data and meeting formalities instead of focusing on “real issues”.

They said majority of the affected residents were living in alternative places hoping to return to their homes as soon as possible.

“[It is] true that structures of majority of the houses are intact,” said Liaquat Hussain, one of the residents. “But they [houses] are not liveable. They are badly damaged and can collapse anytime. Is the government waiting for another disaster? The utility services of the area are not effective anymore. They all need renovation and revival. It has been more than 10 days that majority of the families of this street are living in their relatives’ houses or temporary rented places.”

Affected people are unhappy over unmet promises of federal and provincial govts

The city administration after the incident had finalised a list of the loss of property caused by the May 22 plane crash, finding 18 houses partially damaged and two completely damaged as the federal government had also vowed to bear all financial burden of the compensation to the affected families.

A committee formed by Karachi Commissioner Iftikhar Shallwani completed its survey and finally came up with a report that suggested that two houses measuring 120 square yards each were completely damaged while structures of 18 other houses was partially damaged in the incident.

“The street which bore the brunt of the crash has total 20 houses,” said the report. “In the 20 houses, two are completely damaged and razed to the ground. They need reconstruction. Other 18 houses were damaged as well. In most of the cases, upper parts of the houses were damaged where their concrete structure was hit by the crashed plane. Fortunately, their structures mostly remained intact.”

In other losses, the report said, total 10 cars and 14 motorbikes were also hit by the plane’s burning wreckage and all of them got almost completely destroyed.

Another resident Malik Ashraf said that the families were fed up with the formalities as every day different departments of the government demanded new details and data to “compile the final list”.

The formalities, he said, had yet to come to an end before the relief operation for the victims started.

“The families of this area have already experienced enough trauma and the government departments are making things worse. No one is here to address the real issues. One day they need one thing and the second day they need another. And all is being done in the name of formalities and procedure,” he said.

Published in Dawn, June 3rd, 2020