DURING the last monsoon season, rains proved disastrous for Karachi, particularly for the residents of DHA, which caused risk to human life and damage to hard-earned property.

It had devastating consequences in the form of colossal losses, such as financial crisis, economic collapse and mental distress.

Weather factors were not solely responsible for this catastrophe, but lapses on the part of disaster management authorities and faulty infrastructure, such as poor sewerage and ineffective drainage system, had an equal role to play.

DHA residents, who pay huge taxes, were left unattended in miserable conditions with no compensation of their losses. Most residents had to abandon their homes for months together and had to shift to safer places.

Now that we will have monsoon in about four months, it is pertinent to know what arrangements/measures have been made or taken by the DHA authorities to meet a similar crisis.

It would be most appropriate and desirable that DHA apprises the residents of its preparation in this regard to restore the confidence of the people and enable them to take timely decision whether to live in DHA premises or to move to a safer place.

It may be recalled that the DHA had collected huge amounts as refurbishment charges from the residents to construct surface drainage system which proved a total failure.

DHA is a developer and it should have hired a reputed consultancy company to clean and redo the nullahs in order to ensure smooth flow of water. It should have arranged heavy-duty pumps to throw water in the sea which is not far away.

There should have been prompt availability of relief camps to provide food and shelter to the needy on an emergency basis. It should have deputed medical teams with adequate supplies of medicines and made proper arrangements for the evacuation of the stranded people.

Needless to say, no political point-scoring should be allowed by law-enforcement agencies.

Shamim Sagheer

Karachi

Published in Dawn, February 18th, 2021

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