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Rain Guards of Karachi – The Facts



KARACHI: The recent rains in Karachi have revealed to us many attitudes of the society. First there is a section of the society who are criticizing the Sindh government as part of their hatred and prejudice of the PPP and have been blaming the PPP for the problems of the city and the choas during rains.

The second category is those who declare encroachments to be the main cause of rains and urban flooding. The third category is those who belong to the PTI and today they seem to be blaming the MQM and the PPP for the problems in Karachi in the recent rains.

Then there is a small section in the media whose job is to point out the problems and it is doing its job well to some extent but despite this there are elements within media and on social media who have been mentally very close to the first and third segment of our society as they too are convinced that the wreak havoc by the rains on us is all because of PPP and the Sindh Government.

This time in Karachi it has rained at a record level again, the accumulation of water during the rains is a natural consequence and it happens all over the world, because the speed at which water flows in drains and waterways is much lower then the actual speed of the rain. If it rains at this speed, it is not possible for water not to accumulate. A 500 mm bottle can’t sustain an amount more than 500 mm and this is case with almost all the drainage systems when they have to tackle 100mm rain.

The recent rains in Karachi are much more than the infrastructure of the city can afford, but despite this, there was no where water present on main roads of city within 3 to 4 hours once rain have stopped. This also happens in Lahore, Sydney, Paris, Peshawar, Mumbai that heavy rains result in urban floods as climate change is a threat which needs univeral cure and no country alone can cope up with it. It is not a reasonable attitude to attribute the failure of a government to a natural disaster, it is a political adventure whose results are not good for the society. It doesn’t even solve the problems, but it does end up in accusations and arguments.

Karachites may have witnessed worst rainfall but again it’s the government and its representative which were there on roads from dawn to dusk to tackle the situation out there. PPP ministers and office bearers remained on roads to help the government machinery with whatever possible help a party can extend. But where has been PTI or President of Pakistan who belongs to the same city, and dozens of PTI MNAs and MPAs who got millions of rupees in funds from federal government but where have these funds been invested?

Critics of the Sindh government are unable to answer that the area of ​​DHA, Clifton and other cantonments in Karachi, including Sharah a Faisal, are not under the control of the Sindh government. And despite this, the Sindh government widened the roads here and installed drainage system there, which resulted in water being pumped out in a few hours today where rainwater used to stand for weeks. An example of this is Sharah e Faisal in Karachi where the Sindh government widened the road and also laid a better drainage system which proved to be very useful during these rains. Though it was mandate of Faisal Cantonment to make these arrangements and this institution is responsible for all the civic work but again it was PPP government which paved the way for widening of sharah a Faisal and installed a drainage system.

 The city of Karachi pays the highest taxes to the country, but which major Nullah or road has the federal government built here till date? This anti-PPP section is also unable to answer us why the area of ​​Karachi where the cantonment and DHA have built residential areas on rivers and Nullahs is not mentioned by them while they blame PPP for not doing enough. Neither they hold them responsible nor even talk of these departments as responsible for making arrangements during rains. Why is the name of the party occupying the lands of this city’s treatment plant not mentioned by these anti PPP elements?

The second category that cites the occupation of rivers and canals as the main reason for urban funding in Karachi, they are true to some extent, but isn’t it true that even in developed countries where there are no encroachment of rivers and canals and no housing schemes on them, they also facing risk of urban flooding.

Because urban funding is more because of climate change. Excessive rainfall is also a factor in climate change. And if it is assumed that urban dwelling on rivers and canals is the only reason for urban funding, then many areas of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and villages in Balochistan have been submerged in rains where waterways have existed for centuries and someone on a waterway. There are no barriers of any kind. But still they have been facing floods.

The third group that seems to be blaming the PPP and MQM in the recent rains is the PTI. This class has sworn not to tell the truth. A few years ago, this class, on the orders of the Supreme Court, were rejoicing over the award of the contract to clean the drains and rivers of Karachi to the FWO and today it has been saying that drainage and Nullas were not clear and all because PPP is in power. But same party was praising FWO until few months ago.

Last year some PTI MNAs were seen moving with machinery to clean the drains and Nullahs. But the city of Karachi begs the question: if last year they and the FWO had drained and cleaned the drains, where did the garbage from the drains go? One should find out where is the sludge and filth that was taken out by these PTI members and FWO. PTI is all good at making false promises . Karachi did not get even 11 rupees out of the promise made by Imran Khan government to give 1100 billion rupees to Karachi.

PTI has dozens of MPAs and MNAs from Karachi. Dozens of PTI MNA in Karachi were seen only on Twitter and facebook during the rain in karachi, while people from other parties were definitely seen helping the citizens on the streets.

Local Government Minister Syed Nasir Hussain Shah, Labour Minister Saeed Ghani, Information Minister Sharjeel Inam Memon and Administrator KMC Barrister Murtaza Wahab themselves were seen inspecting drainage arrangements on the streets of Karachi all day instead of being in their respective constituencies.

Syed Nasir Hussain Shah and Sharjeel Inam Memon were on the streets of Karachi despite threats of flooding in their own constituencies. This shows a lot about characte of PPP when it comes to services for Karachi.

I would also talk about media bias PPP face. As there are a few members of the media who have been seen blaming the PPP for the problem karachites have to face during rains. I ask these gentlemen why are they reluctant to mention the names of those who destroyed Karachi’s Master Plan by allowing massive commercialization in the city?

How is the PPP responsible for Karachi’s problems when Karachi has always given mandate to anti PPP elements? How many times has this city mandated the PPP since 1970? Didn’t those who got the mandate occupy the parks, drains and water treatment plants of Karachi then how PPP alone is responsible ? Were plots not commercialized during Jamaat-e-Islami tenure ?Has MQM not been in power with PTI for 4 years?

Blaming PPP or any other party is not the way out in fact Karachi is below sea level. It is a natural process for us to have difficulty getting rainwater to the sea.

Karachi’s Nullahs and rivers are not able to withstand more than 50 mm of rain.

Karachi needs a better drainage system, but isn’t it a fact that more than half of Karachi’s population will have to demolish their houses for this system? Still name an area in Karachi where the Sindh government has jurisdiction and the rain water stayed their for even 12  hours?

If a city like Paris is not safe from urban flooding, how can Karachi can manage it when its below the sea level. By politicizing rain and natural disasters, we can increase our vote bank, but if the government belongs to anyone and it rains so much, it is not possible to avoid urban flooding. The Sindh government is taking every step for the development of Karachi within its resources. Where there are federally controlled areas in Karachi, 99% development work has been done by the Sindh government. One example is Sharah a Faisal and the other is Cant Station Road. But what did the previous federal government and those enjoying the federal government do to avoid urban flooding in the city? How many water storms were constructed by PTI government? How many water pathways were given funds ? Name any ? They have given billions of rupees funds to their MNA but where have they spent this all money ? Why not a single federal funded project for managing rain water was constructed?

Again we must not do politics of rains and floods as these natural disasters are not in any one’s control and then the problem of flooding in  is not only due to overflowing Nullahs and drainage systems, but  overburdened drainage, increased population and unregulated construction, buildings constructed without paying any heed to the natural topography and hydro-geomorphology all results in urban flooding. Once again we need to go for making another industrial city somewhere between Karachi and Jamshoro and President Asif Ali Zardari always wanted Zulfiqarabad there so that population and other such issues can be tackled and risk of natural disasters is avoided.

The writer is currently working as Coordinator to Minister for Local Government and Public Health Engineering Department, Government of Sindh. He can be reached at email Twitter @Tarikkhattak


Sindh Solid Waste Management Board starts paying for garbage disposal in Pak Rupees



KARACHI: With an aim to lower the financial burden on the provincial exchequer, the Sindh Solid Waste Management Board (SSWMB) started to pay private companies contracted for garbage disposal in the city in local currency instead of US dollars.

In this regard, Managing Director SSWMB Syed Imtiaz Ali Shah held a meeting with representatives of the private firms responsible for disposal of garbage in the city and apprised them of the decisions made by the steering committee of the Board.

The meeting deliberated upon the new plan of garbage disposal in the city before the expiry of the contracts made with private firms for solid waste management on district West, Malir, Keamari and East.

It was informed in the meeting that the negotiation with the contracting firms for payment in local currency had already been started.

The representatives of the private firms working in district Malir, West and Keamari informed the meeting that the verification of the staff and vehicles had been completed through a third party, while the verification was still going on in district East.

The managing-director directed the officials concerned to take steps to further improve efficiency in the new operational plan.

He asked the officials to make union committee-wise operational plan, containing complete details of daily waste volume, transport, machinery, staff and all resources to further improve the door-to-door waste collection services.

He also directed the private companies to pay the salaries of their respective staff on time. Mr Shah said that the operational plan should also include training of the staff, the strategy of separate collection of waste and date of people who picked garbage illegally.

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SBCA launches crackdown against illegal structures in Karachi



KARACHI: The Sindh Building Control Authority (SBCA) has initiated massive crackdown against illegal constructions in different parts of the city, resulting in demolition of numerous buildings, marriage halls etc.

In a recent operation against illegal constructions in Karachi’s district Central, SBCA officials also came under firing, however, SBCA officials proceeded with the operation and demolished the fourth floor of the targeted building.

Director General of SBCA Abdul Rasheed Solangi has instructed the Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Central to apprehend the culprits immediately and file a case against those involved in the firing.

Abdul Rasheed Solangi emphasized the need for fearless enforcement actions against illegal constructions and commended the SBCA staff for their dedication and honesty. He assured them of full support in facing any challenges during their duties.

Abdul Rasheed Solangi along with the demolition squad has bulldozed more than four buildings in areas including Essa Nagri, Paposh Nagar, and Gulberg. Moreover, over 13 illegal portions have been demolished in areas including Saddar Town, Jamshed Town, Gulberg, and Gulshan-e-Iqbal.

Director General of SBCA Abdul Rasheed Solangi is personally supervising the crackdown against illegal constructions. The provincial government is committed to cleansing Karachi from all forms of illegal constructions, the DG adds.

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Sindh CS, British Deputy High Commissioner vow to strengthen bilateral relations, work for environmental challenges



KARACHI: British Deputy High Commissioner Sarah Mooney met with Chief Secretary Sindh Syed Asif Hyder Shah at the Sindh Secretariat on Wednesday to discuss enhancing bilateral relations between Pakistan and the United Kingdom.

During the meeting, Chief Secretary Sindh Syed Asif Hyder Shah briefed the British Deputy High Commissioner on the ongoing efforts in infrastructure development, water supply, sewage, and governance in Sindh. He stated that the Sindh government is actively working on improving water supply, sewage, and road infrastructure to accommodate Karachi’s growing population.

“Pakistan, although only contributing less than 1 percent to global greenhouse gas emissions, is one of the most vulnerable countries to the impacts of climate change.” Said CS Sindh

He highlighted that Pakistan incurred a loss of $32 billion from the 2022 floods and is vulnerable to future environmental risks, underscoring the urgent need for proactive measures to mitigate such disasters.

Furthermore, he expressed concerns about the adverse effects of environmental changes on the River Indus. Chief Secretary Sindh Syed Asif Hyder Shah informed that the federal-level Living Indus project has been initiated, after consultation with environmental experts, stakeholders, and provincial governments. He expressed a desire for technical assistance from the British government to address environmental changes.

Syed Asif Hyder Shah also mentioned investment opportunities in energy, investment, and agriculture sectors in Sindh for British investors. British Deputy High Commissioner Sarah Mooney expressed interest in collaborating on the Living Indus project and other projects related to environment. Chief Secretary Sindh presented traditional souvenir to the British Deputy High Commissioner.

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