Jump, jump, miss a step and land your feet in muddy water, moments before entering the institute.
For the last two months, the constant struggle to enter and exit All Pakistan Women Association (Apwa) Government College for Women, Karimabad, has irked the students and the faculty.
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Not only is the college entrance inundated with line water but Karachi Water and Sewerage Board (KWSB) dug it for repairs two months earlier. No progress has been made since. The students and the elderly teachers have no other option but to hop around before entering the premises.
The misery does not end there. Roadside fruit vendors, according to an Urdu professor of the college, Shaheena Sultana, have encroached the leftover space and the footpaths near the college. “Entering and leaving the college, are the two most difficult obstacles of my daily life,” said Sultana, adding that she could not hop over the stagnant water, like her young students.
Apwa is one of the biggest female colleges in District Central, with a strength of over 4,500 students, said the college principal, Naseem Zaidi. The government is doing nothing to get rid of the water flowing outside the main entrance, she added. Around two months ago, little water used to flow outside due to a broken waterline, said Zaidi. “We wrote to the KWSB and they sent a team to visit the area,” she claimed. They dug up the road and left it unfinished, she added.
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“Afterwards, the situation became worse,” she said, adding that before the winter vacations they had submitted several application to the KWSB and the college administration was assured that matter will be resolved before the classes resume, on January 1. “But, anyone can see the situation outside [is not any better]”, she lamented.
According to the college security guard, the water inundates the area on alternate days. On those days the situation becomes worse, he added.
A first-year student, Mahira Aftab, said that usually vehicles passing by splash water to ruin their uniforms when they are entering the college. “We just simply cannot enter the college easily,” she said.
Their two-month ordeal led the students to gather outside the college and demand the authorities take action. Rabika, a first-year student of pre-medical, stood along with several other girls of the college holding placards against the KWSB. They demanded the authorities restore their college entrance.
When KWSB’s District Central chief engineer Jameel Akhtar was contacted regarding the matter, he claimed that he was unaware of the problem. “How can I monitor every nook and cranny of my district?” he said, before assuring that he will send a team soon.
The work at KWSB’s offices has come to a halt since the Supreme Court ordered that all lower grade officials at KWSB, currently working at higher grades, be reverted to their original grades, claimed a official, requesting anonymity.
“Even the public relations officer of KWSB has no idea regarding which officer has been posted to which area,” the official added.
Published in The Express Tribune, January 8th, 2016.
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