Karachi Commissioner Shoaib Ahmed Siddiqui has absolved the administration of any responsibility by blaming the residents for the deaths of a family of three who plunged into a nullah in Block-19 of Federal B Area.
"The residents have encroached the surrounding land and dumped garbage into the nullah," said the commissioner. "The incident is tragic. Our team is working day and night to find the body of the husband but, unfortunately, due to excessive garbage and encroachments, it is hard for the authorities to find anyone."
He claimed that they had warned the people of the possible dangers of their actions, adding that the authorities would try their best to prevent such fatal accidents in the future.
"The people should also improve their civic sense and not throw garbage into the nullahs."
A witness said that the main road alongside the nullah is still submerged in water and the commuters accidentally drove into deep water.
"It was the worst kind of negligence. At least the authorities should have built a wall alongside the nullah so that the car could have been stopped," the witness said.
"Due to the negligence of civic bodies, the city's nullahs have become a hazard for residents and commuters," he lamented.
The Karachi Metropolitan Corporation (KMC) municipal services director, Masood Alam, told The Express Tribune that around 8,000 tonnes of solid waste has been dumped into storm water drains and, during the rain, these storm water drains overflow.
"Residents, housemaids and municipality workers all throw garbage into nullahs. How can we not expect these nullahs to overflow during rainy season?" he questioned.
"We need to develop a plan to ensure that storm drains do not turn into solid waste nullahs in the future."
KMC Administrator Saqib Soomro was not available despite several attempts to contact him.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 7th, 2013.