Karachi: The city of potholes

According to the World Health Organization, by 2030, road accidents will become the fifth major cause of deaths


November 07, 2019

Karachi, once known as a city of lights is screaming for help! Being a Karachite, it is truly devastating to see this metropolis going down the drain. This city with infinite potential has always welcomed everyone with open arms, regardless of their caste, religion and ethnicity. Throughout the decade, even the most influential people have tediously been fighting for its ownership, but sadly all have failed to shower the love it truly deserves.

Amidst the water crisis, power shortages, pollution and lack of proper waste management, another grave matter that requires our immediate attention are the dilapidated roads. Negligence and lack of infrastructure planning over the years has caused detrimental damage to the citizens, thereby exposing them to hazardous potholes. Potholes are more than just ugly, they can also be dangerous, causing damage to vehicles and potential trip and fall accidents for pedestrians.

Here are five reasons why municipality should tackle this pavement issue as soon as possible:

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  1. Early bird catches the worm. Still stuck in traffic?


Traffic jam on Karachi roads have become permanent agony for commuters as it is difficult for them to reach their destinations in time. If you want to travel across the city, you must have great patience because due to such traffic jams everyone on the road is ready to fight someone to overcome their frustration. Traffic congestion not only escalates the stress of working professionals and school going children, but also causes trouble for all of those seeking medical help.

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Due to these potholes, patients not only suffer a bumpy ride all the way to the hospital, but the ever-increasing rush of heavy traffic on the roads often results in loss of human life. During monsoons, these potholes become a mosquitoes’ hatchery which results in vector borne diseases such as malaria and dengue. Adding to the misery of a common man, officials don't seem to care much about taking any action to resolve these issues.

  1. So far so good? Guess not


We have all been confronted with poor road conditions and a plethora of cases have occurred where fatal crashes caused by head-on collisions are directly related to dreaded potholes. The most obvious pothole damage affects a vehicle’s tire. As the tires of a vehicle are always in contact with the road, the force, if severe enough, can misshape the tire, rupture it, or even bend its rim. Other immediate damages that can occur from a pothole include scratches, dents, leaks and compression of the suspension.

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As the suspension system deteriorates, the vehicle no longer absorbs bumps and begins to bounce unstably. If this isn’t enough of a reason for concern, the excessive bouncing means leaving the vehicle even more exposed to a future pothole encounter. By patching potholes, these sorts of problems can be avoided entirely. Once potholes are repaired, the roads become a safer place for both commuters and their vehicles.

  1. Every cloud has a silver lining


While these potholes slow the commute to a crawl for many, they also add to the woes of customers who are anticipating for their food. One unexpected bump or pothole will easily spill, splatter or ruin the food. To prevent food jostling-related crises, the country’s well known food delivering service, foodpanda took matters into its own hands and developed a plan to repair deteriorating roads across the country, starting from Karachi. The first round of potholes fixture took place on Thursday, 31st October 2019 at the bustling 26th street in Defence Housing Authority, Phase VI.

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Both sides of the road were carpeted by workers wearing pink t-shirts. The idea behind covering these potholes is to make driving bearable in the city, along with enabling their riders to reach their destinations without any delays. With this initiative, the online delivery giant aims to make roads driving friendly and commute for citizens as well as foodpanda delivery riders more timely and seamless, avoiding delays, especially when it comes to food deliveries.

  1. A recipe for disaster


Car accidents are scary. When one is caused by hitting a pothole and losing control of the vehicle, the chain-reaction is swift and frightening. The noise, the sudden impact, and the resulting collision send your heartbeat racing. Once a pothole forms, it can grow to several feet, with rain water accelerating the process and creating a trap for vehicles, making one of the top causes of car accidents.

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Motorcycle drivers are at special risk of injury if they ride over a pothole. Having just two wheels on the ground and a lower weight than cars, motorcycles are ill-equipped to handle potholes. It also adds to the misery of reckless bus and rickshaw drivers who bounce off speedily while carrying an overload of passengers, further putting everybody’s life at a risk. Enforcement of law regarding better road conditions needs to be strictly implemented to further avoid perilous mishaps.

  1. Look before you leap


Walking is a common mode of transport in Pakistan, but is increasingly dangerous due to the associated risk of road accidents. Nowadays, pedestrians are in danger of becoming the new victims of potholes, as they run the risk of tripping and injuring themselves. When Pedestrians do not pay attention while walking or crossing the street, they can trip over a pothole which may result in a bad fall injury. It’s also important to be on the lookout for these drivers who in an attempt to avoid potholes can swerve on the sidewalk.

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Injuries are often serious when a pedestrian is hit, as they have no form of protection being outside of a vehicle. Myriad cases in Karachi have occurred where pedestrians, especially children, have accidentally stepped on a pothole, thinking it’s a puddle when in actuality it turned out to be a manhole. It is impossible to prevent potholes from forming, as there are many reasons for their existence, however, thanks to foodpanda, help is at hand

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