Muddy waters: KCCI chief laments city’s vulnerability to rain

Zaki says businesses, public suffer due to negligence of authorities.

Ppi August 02, 2014


Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) President Abdullah Zaki has expressed sheer disappointment over the poor performance of Karachi Municipal Corporation (KMC), Karachi Water and Sewerage Board (KWSB) and K-Electric in dealing with various issues emerging after the torrential rain across the city.

In a statement on Saturday, KCCI president said that although heavy rainfalls lasted just for half-an-hour, public and businesses continued to face severe problems due to poor sewerage and sanitation system that requires immediate attention. The prolong power outages and K-Electric’s failure to timely resolve electricity related issues in many areas turned the much-awaited first rainfall into a nightmare for Karachi.

“Thirty minutes rain was enough to inundate Karachi’s roads and lanes whereas the sanitation staff of the city was nowhere to be found. The rising number of slums and squatter settlements built on the banks of the drains has made matters worse,” he said.

To effectively deal with the situation, KCCI president suggested that active and well-equipped Rain Emergency Centres in all five districts of the city should immediately be established. Workers of KMC, KWSB and K-Electric must remain deployed round-the-clock to assist and quickly resolve rain related issues. Furthermore, these Rain Emergency Centers should be equipped with necessary machinery particularly water pumping machines in order to quickly clear standstill rainwater from the streets so that smooth flow of traffic could be ensured during the ongoing monsoon season.

He feared that any negligence in setting up active Rain Emergency Centers could lead to a disastrous situation as witnessed during the torrential rains of Monsoon season in September 2011 and August 2013.“Unfortunately, we have not learned any lesson from our past experiences as the existing infrastructure of the city remains incapable of dealing with such natural calamities due to failure to invest on improving the dilapidated infrastructure,” said Zaki.

Keeping in view Karachi city’s massive contribution of around 70% to the national exchequer, the KCCI chief hoped that the government would give high priority to the financial and commercial hub of Pakistan to ensure that the economic and industrial wheels of this city keep spinning without interruption.

Published in The Express Tribune, August 3rd, 2014.

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