A tale of Karachi's sewerage system: Garbage heaps and clogged drains

Published: July 25, 2015
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Overflowing sewage lines have yet to be cleaned in North Karachi, Gulberg. PHOTO: EXPRESS

Overflowing sewage lines have yet to be cleaned in North Karachi, Gulberg. PHOTO: EXPRESS

KARACHI: A resident of North Karachi’s Skyline Apartments, Owais Muhammad remembers how the monsoon rain of 2013 wreaked havoc in the area. Measuring at 126.2mm, the rain not only inundated the main roads of North Karachi but it also entered people’s houses.

“This happened due to the negligence of the municipal corporations,” he pointed out. “Even the rain drains, which were cleaned a couple of month ago, are choked again.”

According to him, a nullah in front of his flat has overflowed to road level and was last cleared over a year ago.

A resident of North Karachi’s 11-L, Hassan, told The Express Tribune that the District Municipal Corporation (DMC) came to clean the drains in front of his home two months ago, but they left behind rubbish heaps on the road. “After one month a cart came and picked up some of the rubbish, shoving the rest back into the drains,” he claimed. “These government officials do nothing and if they do something, it creates further nuisance for us.”

According to Fawad Aslam, a resident of Sector 11-A in North Karachi, the rainfall of 2013 was no less than a disaster. “There was knee-deep rainwater in my house,” he said, adding that this time he was expecting to be completely submerged, as no one had cleaned the sewage pipes outside his home that have been overflowing for the past six months. “God knows what will happen, if it rains heavily,” he lamented.

Yasir Raza Abidi, a resident of Gulberg Block 10, said that even the main Gujjar nullah passing through Landi Kotal Chowrangi has not been cleaned. “Every year this drain becomes quite a nuisance for the public, but no one cleans it,” he said, adding that thus far no drain or sewage line has been cleared in his area.

Meanwhile, Commissioner Shoaib Ahmed Siddiqui paid a visit on Thursday evening to various storm water drains in the city, along with the managing director of the Karachi Water and Sewerage Board (KWSB), Syed Hashim Raza Zaidi to check the ongoing cleaning work after the recent rain and ahead of the upcoming monsoon.

Siddiqui said that the government bodies were alert and have been mobilised to prevent inconvenience during the rainy season. He said the highest priority has been given to the instant drainage of rainwater from the streets.

He also expressed satisfaction about the installation of generators by KWSB at its sewage pumping stations.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 25th, 2015. 

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