Damage caused by rains

Published: September 13, 2012

LAHORE: The rains and floods that have regularly ravaged Pakistan for the past few years, displacing millions, are more of a man-made disaster, than a natural one. Pakistan receives the least quantum of rain during the monsoon season in the southeast Asian region. Unfortunately, despite the moderate amount of rainfall that the country receives, the damage caused is way out of proportion. In other countries of the region, roads, bridges, dams and embankments are built to withstand far more intense and frequent rains.

Absence of adequate dams for storage of excess water, along with deforestation and substandard construction of infrastructure due to rampant corruption, have contributed to the excessive damage that is caused, even when the country receives moderate to slightly heavy rainfall. When corrupt executives are appointed in public sector organisations like the Irrigation and Public Works Department and contracts are awarded solely on the basis of kickbacks, then roads, bridges and embankments will disintegrate, even during moderate rainfall. Billions have been disbursed to parliamentarians for development work in their constituencies. The provinces also get significant amounts for development work. However, even in a city like Karachi, which alone has received more in terms of development funds compared with the rest of Sindh, moderate to low rains result in the collapse of infrastructure, which points to the dismal quality of construction that has taken place in the city during the past decade.

Absence of accountability and poor governance have further aggravated the situation. As long as corrupt bureaucrats, engineers, contractors and public representatives are not given exemplary punishment for their corruption and incompetence, the poor of this country will continue to suffer.

Malik Tariq Ali

Published in The Express Tribune, September 13th, 2012.

Reader Comments (3)

  • JS
    Sep 13, 2012 - 10:40AM

    Look at all the pictures from this years flood, last years, and 2010′s…the people you see….holding their life in their hands, a goat and a small child with them…they look exactly like the pictures from partition do…..thats how much we’ve progressed in 65 years

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  • Irfan
    Sep 13, 2012 - 4:52PM

    As long as corruption is tolerated and promoted by the establishment, innocent people will continue to die in rainfall, factory infernos, building or bridge collapse etc. Corruption is a cancer which will destroy moral fibre of society and this is waht is happening. You see people killed in target murders, extortion every day in Karachi and crocodile tears are shed by those responsible for this. While Pak is suffering Zardari Altaf, Shujaat are more interested in politics of more provinces and even Sind is being split administratively and ethnic lines Recommend

  • Khurshid Anwer
    Sep 14, 2012 - 2:25PM

    It is not only the heavy rains in Karachi which are causing the flooding, it is also the rains in the north which swell the Kabul, Chitral, Swat, Haro and Soan rivers which flow down to Sindh to add to the flood havoc. Until the flood waters of these rivers are not trapped at source they will keep flooding Sindh every year even after Bhasha dam is built. Only a dam at the Kalabagh site can stop these floods

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