Probably, now Karachi is the most appropriate antonym for cleanliness. If ocular evidence is anything to go by. But the authorities continue to be in a state of constant denial. Given the present state of unhygienic conditions in the city and Eid-ul-Azha around the corner, people fear what would happen if there is a fresh spell of rain before and during Eid. The prevailing state of lack of hygienic conditions combined with rains will likely result in an unbearable situation. The city is already witnessing an invasion of flies and mosquitoes. In all likelihood there will be a manifold increase in the swarms of flies and mosquitoes during and after Eid days, when hundreds of thousands of cattle are slaughtered and it takes time to remove the offal.
Stormwater drains all over the city are choked with garbage. Garbage is everywhere: it is over-ground, underground, and in the atmosphere — claims by the authorities to the contrary notwithstanding. Rainwater that has accumulated after the rains on July 29 and 30 is still standing in many areas of the city, as no effort seems to have been made to drain it out. Rainwater mixing with gushing dirty gutter water is adding to the myriad problems of the people. This situation exists even in downtown areas. One can only ask of the authorities: is it necessary to practise and promote apathy for success in politics? In few areas, there are signs of road repairs though, it is difficult to say whether the work will be carried out at all. In recent years, we have seen machinery appearing and some excavation work being carried out for a few days. Then the work in progress is abandoned abruptly. It is difficult to understand the rationale of road repair and road building work being undertaken after the rainy season has started.
All this is happening under a democratic dispensation. One cannot help concluding that democracy no longer means what it was meant to.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 10th, 2019.