AS the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) steps in to clean Karachi’s storm drains, the frustrating picture of the metropolis’s collapsing and dilapidated infrastructure is revealed.
There is no secret in the fact that years of misrule, corruption and neglect have left Karachi in ruins and the condition in which the megacity now lies is obviously because of a man-made disaster.
As the NDMA personnel in collaboration with the Frontier Works Organisation (FWO) started cleaning Gujjar nullah, one of leading storm drains in the city, the sight of tonnes of sludge blocking the free flow of water was revolting. Such blockage has contributed to Karachi’s horrendous urban flooding and water stagnation, inviting mosquitoes.
The federal government’s decision to provide relief to people of Karachi from another bout of rain-related misery is worth applauding.
The country’s largest city is in the doldrums owing to a barely functioning local government. No wonder, the water, sewage and solid waste management departments have become dysfunctional.
Therefore, at the end of the day, whether it is the federal decision or the Sindh government stepping in to unveil grandiose foreign-funded civic projects, all these attempts will fail unless the local government is empowered and it fulfils its constitutional duty to clean and maintain the city of Karachi.
Published in Dawn, August 12th, 2020