KARACHI: I am not an engineer or a scientist. However, one doesn’t have to be either, to know that the primary reason why our roads get flooded each time it rains is because the stormwater drains and gutters are blocked by garbage and that they are not regularly cleaned. Also, a city as large as Karachi has a barely functional solid waste management system, with the result that much of the waste that the city generates is not collected. So when it rains, it ends up flowing with the water and blocks the drainage system. In addition to this, we are not exactly known for our civic sense and litter with abandon, especially plastic shopping bags.
Many years ago, I remember seeing in Lahore chimney-shaped structures. I asked what they were for and was told that they prevent airlocks from developing in the city’s drains and, hence, served a vital purpose. I wonder if any still exist today.
Dr M Sayedain Jaffery
Published in The Express Tribune, September 15th, 2011.