I HAVE lived in Karachi’s Buffer Zone area for 36 years. I have never seen garbage being collected from the streets on a regular basis during all this time. It takes weeks – several weeks, actually – before the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation (KMC) team remembers the area.

There are no trash bins installed in the area, and the door-to-door garbage collectors charge money from the residents even though they pay the monthly bills to the relevant agency for the very same purpose. The accompanying picture showing the pavement along the boundary wall of the Government Girls Degree College in the area is a typical representation of how the KMC officials manage – or do not manage – the affairs.

Footpaths have not been repaired for over 15 years now. Encroachments are increasing and shopkeepers have taken over half of the roads. Roads in upscale localities were carpeted within weeks following last year’s rains, but areas like Buffer Zone remained, and continue to remain, neglected.

When the KMC had introduced monthly billing in 2009, there used to be a complaint registration number mentioned on the bill; 1339. I called the helpline repeatedly for years, but all I got to hear was a recorded message: “The number you have dialled is not listed.”

Realising that I need some other helpline to seek help regarding the KMC helpline, I subsequently contacted PTCL 1217 inquiry and the staff confirmed that 1339 was never a functional number. I was provided other KMC numbers, but they do not work either. Likewise, on the official KMC website, when one clicks the tab for filing a complaint, it shows an error and the page is not displayed.

I would like to know why the KMC charges us and where the money getting collected is being spent or invested when there is not even a complaint system available. The relevant authorities need to stop the KMC from collecting revenue for services that are simply non-existent.

Syed Waqas Bukhary
Karachi

Published in Dawn, August 1st, 2021

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