BACK in the day when Karachi was the capital of Pakistan, broad and tidy roads used to snake across the city. As time passed, things deteriorated, and, today, Karachi is an entirely different city.
It seems that the city’s well-wishers have gone. Vanishing pavements, roads with potholes, dug-up streets and garbage everywhere are some of the trademark characteristics of today’s Karachi where the number of road accidents are increasing all the time, but hardly anyone in a position of authority seems to be bothered by it all.
Close to where I live, a number of roads have been dug up for some time. At first, everybody was excited about some kind of renovation as gigantic white pipes were placed by the roadside. However, after more than two weeks, people were tired of taking long jumps over the ditches into their buildings, and, of course, the car-owners were tired of parking their cars in other societies. A few days later, the labourers also vanished.
A nearby street that carries immense importance to everyone was also tunnelled. There is a clinic, a rickshaw stand, a general store and a roadside vendor. The street is a busy one and cars are usually parked on both sides.
I appreciate this project of renewing the sewerage lines, but it needs to proceed at some decent pace. Why is it so hard for the authorities to realise that one street should be dug at a time. All we can do now is to hope that the labourers would come back and, instead of digging new holes, would fill up holes and level the streets.
Published in Dawn, August 13th, 2022