A blessing and its aftermath

Published: January 23, 2019

Rain in Karachi is always a blessing — a blessing that has long been longed for. Suffering from years and months of water scarcity, dry and hot weather accompanied by escalating temperatures, and a plethora of viral diseases associated with this phenomenon, the citizens of this metropolis have always been praying for rains. But once their prayers are answered, they are caught up in a series of disasters and problems and a heavenly blessing is seen rapidly turning into a man-made misery.

The situation was not different on Sunday and Monday when a long-desired, long-awaited, moderate to light spells of winter showers visited Karachi and the rest of Sindh and disturbed the routine life. It was a maximum of 38mm of rains that the city received on Sunday and Monday. But with the first drop of rain, electricity went off and on Monday morning citizens in Karachi woke up to flooded roads and streets and puddles of stagnant waters in parks and playgrounds following some strong spells of rain overnight. The performance of all the civic agencies, including the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation (KMC), Karachi Development Authority (KDA), District Municipal Corporations (DMCs), Karachi Water and Sewerage Board (KWSB), K-Electric (K-E), Defence Housing Authority (DHA) and the cantonment boards lay exposed as commuters and pedestrians waded through flooded streets on their way to destinations. All the claims of the provincial local government department and the KMC about having cleaned all the stormwater drains equally turned out to be nothing but a propaganda gimmick.

However, the reports from other districts of Sindh presented a grimmer picture. Already suffering on account of low-gas pressures, the current spell of rain, though lasting a few hours only, left citizens without electricity and water and the crisis persisted even on Tuesday.

Published in The Express Tribune, January 23rd, 2019.

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