It seems nature and man have joined hands to torment the populace in Pakistan. Since the beginning of summer people have been facing shortage of all those essentials that are most needed in the baking heat. We have electricity shortage, water shortage, and gas shortage – all essential to survive. On the other hand, we have abundance of uncleared garbage, and an environment becoming increasingly polluted in which it is difficult to breathe.
The situation in all these respects is bad in most parts of the country. However, in Karachi, things are shapeless everywhere. As the heat is increasing so is increasing power outages and the shortage of water. At present, Karachi is facing an unprecedented water shortage. In many areas, residents have been compelled to drink brackish water. Meals cannot be prepared with brackish water, so many families are getting their food from restaurants. Many areas in the city have completely gone dry. Bath in this heat has become an unaffordable luxury. As things have been left to rot, it is possible people might die of thirst, if not of starvation. Water and power shortage has been persisting for the past many years. Now and then, some political parties put up banners asking the government to provide water for the people. So far the authorities have remained unmoved. People have breakfast and lunch at restaurants. When they return from work they are told dinner could not be cooked either for want of water or due to gas outage. When dinner is cooked, one cannot bring oneself to eat in darkness and goes to bed hungry. Nights are sleepless. Much heat, little electricity!
To add to all this discomfort, commuters face daily ordeal of waiting long for public transport. In May, the Sindh government had promised 200 ‘air-conditioned’ buses for Karachi. One should have a good memory to be able to keep the promises that one makes.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 28th, 2019.