Rotten gutters

Published: November 8, 2019

It seems we have made a quantum leap backwards in terms of civic services in most parts of the country, especially in Sindh and Karachi. We are witnessing the terrible consequences of long years of corruption, mismanagement and inefficiency.

It is stale news that the sewerage system in major parts of Karachi and other urban areas of Sindh has collapsed. The resulting gutter overflows combined with broken roads have compounded the problem. In many areas now we see dirt and mud tracks.

Expensive shining private vehicles and the sorry state of public roads give a good idea of the state of affairs in Pakistan. The rotten state of gutters in Karachi has once again attracted public attention after a sinkhole was formed in the area which is the seat of the provincial government. The chief minister had ordered officials to fix the problem within 24 hours.
But even after 72 hours on Nov 7 the work is underway. This tells enough about the slowness of the ways of the government.   Officials of the Karachi Water and Sewerage Board say gutters in the whole of Karachi are well past their utility, and a major overhaul of the entire sewerage system is needed. They say in the city, the government recklessly allowed the construction of high-rise buildings. This overburdened gutter lines and stormwater drains resulting in the present mess. Further, drains have also been choked because people dump garbage into them. Now the KSWB, aided by the World Bank, is working on the Karachi Water and Sewerage Service Improvement Project. The project consists of four phases and its cost is estimated at $1.6 billion. We hope that the money is spent on the purpose for which it has been earmarked. The country is saturated with corruption. As a result, there are chaos and sorrow. Is it because we have an amazing level of tolerance for corruption? Or is it because we have the best governance that money can buy?

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