KARACHI: #FixIt campaigner Alamgir Khan has taken to Malir this time – he is spending his days and nights near District and Sessions Court, Malir. His demand is that the road leading to the National Highway be immediately repaired.
Khan, who gained fame after his #FixIt campaign in which he drew stencils of the former chief minister of Sindh, is now demanding the immediate construction of the dilapidated portion of this road, from Malir Kala Board till Quaidabad, which is a patch of 4.5 kilometres.
Earlier on, Khan has also staged a sit-in at University Road, in which he demanded the construction of the thoroughfare. Two months later, work finally began on University Road.
In Malir, Khan started the protest on Friday and plans to sit until Monday.
Talking about the thoroughfare in Malir, Khan told The Express Tribune that repair work on this road should have completed years ago. He lamented that work begins on this road but is left incomplete each time, leaving the road in an even worse condition for the commuters. He said that work was supposed to be completed here in the end of 2016 but there is no sign of any work as yet.
According to Khan, the road leads the commuters to every part of the country as it connects with the National Highway. Most of the heavy traffic also passes from here, he said. “But sadly, this road, which is the entrance of the city for the people who visit Karachi from other cities, depicts an image of a disaster,” he said.
No one from the government has contacted us yet, regretted Khan, adding that they have been sitting there from Friday and can even extend it if the government does not respond.
“We are also considering the option of bringing the traffic to halt but there are a few universities here and we do not want to create problems for the students,” he said. “However, if the government does not pay attention, then every option is open for us.”
Khan said the local government representatives of Malir blame Karachi Mayor Wasim Akhtar but this is not right. “The mayor has no power whereas the responsibility of the construction of the road is that of the Sindh government,” he said. “We have no political agenda. However, the ruling Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) has a vote bank here. The local body chairman of Malir belongs to the party. Even then, they are not concerned about the area.” He added that the locals of the area visit them on a daily basis along with their families out of support. “They also provide us with food and water.”
Owais Ahmed Khan, a resident of the area, told The Express Tribune that they have no hope from the government as the piles of sand and mud have been lying here for years. “We have to cross on our motorcycles and cars from this area, which is more like an off-road track,” he said. “Only God can help us as the rulers cannot feel the problems we have to bear on a daily basis.”
Another resident of Kala Board, Jam Karamat, said he regrets voting for PPP. “My whole family had voted for them but there is nothing for us from them,” he said. “We will consider voting for someone else. It is decided that we will not vote [for the PPP] as they do not care about us.”