KARACHI: The city’s sewerage system has collapsed, as a number of areas are flooded with sewage. Residents have been facing difficulties in commuting and have also had to bear with the stench of the stagnant water.
Gutter water has been overflowing in numerous areas such as Gulshan-e-Iqbal, Nazimabad, Saddar, Korangi, Shah Faisal Colony, Gulistan-e-Jauhar, Tipu Sultan Road and Sharae Faisal. Worsening the situation is the fact that the contaminated water has entered houses and hospitals in some areas.
The Karachi Water and Sewerage Board (KWSB) claims that the water will be cleaned soon and that work in this regard is currently under way.
Sewage has overflowed on main thoroughfares such as Sharae Faisal, Sakhi Hassan, Rashid Minhas Road, Orangi Road, KDA Chowrangi and streets in Saddar. Despite its claims, the KWSB has not undertaken any measures to clear the water from the sites of the burst pipelines, which has led to the situation deteriorating. In the heart of the city, Saddar, the sewerage system on the central streets has been severely affected and sewage water has accumulated, creating a traffic jam.
Sewage water has also accumulated in front of Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre and the National Institute of Cardiovascular Diseases, which has hindered the movement of patients.
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The issue is not simply of a burst pipeline – it goes back for years as the water board has failed to maintain or replace its pipelines, due to which the sewerage system is slowly collapsing. Compounding problems, in many areas sewage is mixing with drinking water. Contaminated water is being supplied to houses in North Karachi, New Karachi, Gulistan-e-Jauhar, Malir, Landhi and Korangi, but the water board has stayed silent on this issue.
According to sources, millions of rupees have been allocated for repair work and replacement of lines, yet there is no improvement in the system.
Main streets in Lines Area have been inundated for months yet repair work has still not commenced.
The flow of traffic in areas like Saddar, which are congested even when the roads are not filled with sewage water, has been severely affected, with motorists stuck in traffic jams for extended periods of time.
Sewage water has also accumulated on roads of the area starting from Paposh Nagar to Abbasi Shaheed Hospital and the situation is no different than the one in Saddar. In various blocks of Gulshan-e-Iqbal, water is overflowing out of gutters. The situation has worsened to the extent that sewage water has accumulated in various apartment compounds. Every second street of Landhi, Korangi, Orangi Town, North Karachi, New Karachi, Liaquatabad, PIB Colony, Jamshed Colony, Soldier Bazaar, Garden, Lyari, Keamari and Baldia town have pools of sewage water.
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Sources in the KWSB said that millions of rupees have allocated for the repair of sewerage lines and the replacement of pipes but no work is being carried out due to which the sewerage system has collapsed in Karachi.
Technical Deputy Managing Director Asadullah Khan told The Express Tribune that repair work on the main sewerage trunk line near Metropole Hotel will be completed by Wednesday. He explained that a 56-inch diameter line sank a few days ago. According to him, a 60-year-old pipeline had completed its life and resultantly sank, affecting the area from Fatimah Jinnah Road to Cantt Station.
The repair work on the line was started on Sunday and the effect of the broken line was being seen in the electronic market of Saddar, he said. KWSB’s managing director could not be reached for his version.
Tipu Sultan Road has been in a state of disrepair for the past two weeks, with potable water in the area severely affected by the overflowing sewage water.
The residents have warned of a protest if the issue is not resolved by the local government minister.
The gross negligence of the KSWB management also affected the sewerage system in Shabbirabad Block A, Syedna Yousuf Road and Syedna Zoeb Road. Roads in the areas are inundated while polluted water on lanes and street remains stagnant, posing issues for the passers-by and residents.
Khan attributed the situation to a lack of funds, adding that the issue could not be resolved. Labeling water supplied by water board unfit for human consumption, he recommended the consumption of mineral water. "The purchase and consumption of mineral water is a normal practice across the city, so you should adopt it too," he said. However, he granted permission to the residents to change the water pipelines at their own expense.
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