Monsoon mayhem in Karachi


M Omar Iftikhar 

Each year the monsoon season brings the same problems for the people of Karachi. While those at home enjoy the blessings of the rain, the people on the streets have to face the brunt of lack of planning and the absence of proactive thinking.

Karachi that runs the business lifeline of Pakistan resembles a dystopian-era city when rainwater inundates its lanes and streets. Water becomes stagnant on roads causing bottlenecks. The traffic jams become a dreadful experience for those who are a part of it. At some points across Karachi, water enters homes while people on the road have to wade through water.

Cars and motorcycles partially submerge in the water while the pedestrians have no idea if there is an open manhole or a pothole in their way. This happens because the city never had an operational water drainage system.

Even if this system was ever in place in some areas, no efforts were made to keep this drainage system clean from garbage and dirt. The rain is not a problem as it does not cause traffic jams. These congestions are caused when roads are partially submerged in water. The city government can still devise a practical solution to drain rainwater from the roads and streets to a reservoir.

This water can later be used for various purposes. However, the keywords here to focus on are “commitment” and “vision”. The leaders need to utilize their available resources to provide the citizens of Karachi with a solution. Even if the rain falls for half an hour, water covers major parts of Karachi.

Even the areas such as DHA and PECHS, considered to be the residence of high-status citizens show a picture of distress. The need of the hour is to provide Karachi with a workable solution of the rainwater drainage system. Even in this age of technology, suction pumps are used to drain water from the roads. A sustainable, practical system must be put into place to keep Karachi operational and comfortable even when it rains.