KARACHI: Overflowing gutters have left the residents of Mehmoodabad and the Karachi Administration Employees Cooperative Housing Society (KAECHS) virtually trapped inside their homes for the last month.
The residents claim that for the last 10 years, the streets of Mehmoodabad have been completely inundated with sewage, leaving them unable to even step outside their houses to offer prayers at the mosque.
"Not once have I been able to go to the mosque in the last month," elderly Saleem Ali, a resident of Mehmoodabad, block 8, told The Express Tribune. "I am old and I cannot hop over the stagnant water like young men do. I do not remember the last time I stepped outside my house, without a car," he lamented.
The commercial area of Mehmoodabad, which was once a centre of activity with cafés and other eateries, now reeks of sewage water and the businesses have been widely affected by the inundated roads.
"The sewage water that starts flowing from the Baloch Colony flyover, usually ends in front of my shop," said Muhammad Aslam, owner of a tailoring shop. He said that the problem is persisting for the last 10 years and nothing could be in done about it. "The gutters are cleaned randomly, once in a blue moon, and barely a day after cleaning, the sewage water starts flowing again," he claimed.
When asked if they have filed any complaint regarding the sewage water, he said that it was useless. "Several applications have been written, with the signatures of all the residents of the area, but all we got were unfulfilled assurances," he said.
Another shopkeeper, Kashif, sarcastically claimed that he has decided to buy a boat and leave his motorcycle at home, as according to him, it is almost impossible to ride a motorcycle in the area due to the sewage water. "A whole nullah flows in front of my shop daily after sunset," he said, adding that something needs to be done about the sewage system of Jamshed Town.
KAECHS secretary Fareed Ahmed, showing scores of applications he has filed to the East deputy commissioner, Asif Jan Siddiqui, and the Karachi Water and Sewage Board (KWSB), said that he has never received a response. That's all I could have done about the sewage water, he claimed. "I cannot clean the gutters myself," he said, adding that the area's sewerage lines are in very bad condition and need immediate maintenance.
Meanwhile, Siddiqui told The Express Tribune that he has raised the matter with the KWSB several times. "They (KWSB) say that they need to put new sewerage lines in the area," he said.
KWSB's chief engineer of district East, Wajid Siddiqui, refuses to accept that any such situation exists in Mehmoodabad or in nearby areas. He said that they resolved every complaint that came to them. The superintendent engineer of Jamshed Town, Aftab, said that they have repaired all the sewage leakages in the area and the situation would soon normalise.
Published in The Express Tribune, November 20th, 2015.
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