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Tuesday, July 16, 2024

PM Imran promises to ‘act, resolve’ major problems of hapless Karachi

Urban flooding in the city over the past week has disrupted everyday life, taken dozens of civilian lives, and destroyed thousands of homes in the metropolis

Karachi, the financial hub of Pakistan and its former capital, can be seen drowning (quite literally) in a sea of garbage and sewage system waste. One of the busiest, if not the busiest, metropolitan city of Pakistan, the city is flooded every year as even a moderate spell of monsoon rain brings life to a complete standstill.

The city, already crippled from all sorts of catastrophes, ranging from poverty, to hunger, to widespread pollution, now faces the likes of a flood never seen before. Frequent power outages, water scarcity, long-standing garbage and drainage issues, and now the monsoon rains followed by urban flooding, has left the residents of Karachi, Pakistan’s largest city, feeling frustrated and abandoned.

Even though, this years flood was caused by “record-breaking rains”, the problem is not new and has persisted in Karachi for years. With nothing being done and no action being taken to solve the problem, the city is now at a critical juncture in time as the damage done to the system now teetering on the verge of being irreversible.

PM Imran Khan addresses drowning Karachi’s issues

However, there remains a glimmer of hope. PM Imran Khan on Saturday tweets about addressing the problem and pledged that he will “act and resolve” Karachi’s problems.

After the record-breaking rain devastated Karachi, taking dozens of lives and destroying homes, Prime Minister Imran Khan has said that the federal government would soon announce a plan for a “permanent solution to the problems” by cleaning riverbeds, fixing the sewage system and resolving the huge challenge of water supply.

“We will not abandon the people of Karachi in their time of crisis”, the premier said as he directed the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) to immediately rescue the stranded people and provide emergency medical assistance, food and shelter to those in need.

Read more: Imran Khan orders NDMA to fix rain ravaged Karachi

Karachi takes top level priority, must be saved from drowning

On Friday, Sindh Governor Imran Ismail also reassured the citizens that the federal government is devising a comprehensive strategy to improve the situation of the drowning city on priority. He added that PM Khan, after consulting his cabinet members, would soon formally announce the necessary steps to resolve the issues of Karachi – Pakistan’s financial hub and a city of over 16 million.

Read More: Army called in Karachi: Where is the Sindh government?

The governor, who is appointed by the federal government, said there was an urgent need to remove encroachments and illegal dwellings on riverbeds, which is creating issues for the entire city. It was unfortunate that every issue of Karachi was politicised and “no one ever seriously addressed the problems” that aggravated the difficulties in the country’s economic hub.

What has PPP done in all these years?

Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) – ruling Sindh for the last 12 years and the major opposition party in National Assembly – has come under fire over the flood response by both the citizens and the politicians.

Read more: Karachi Rain: Saeed Ghani, Bakhtawar Bhutto’s tweets backfired on social media

“What have they done in the past 12 years?” Karachi Mayor Wasim Akhtar lashed out at the PPP after the rains this week. Akhtar, a leader of Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P), said the people of Karachi were facing “criminal negligence” on part of the party for the last four years. He also requested the prime minister to visit the long-ignored city.

The ruling party’s central vice president and parliamentary leader in Sindh Assembly, Haleem Adil Sheikh, also grilled the PPP performance in the last decade, adding that the political party had failed to do the job in 12 years, which “the NDMA has done in five days”.

Read more: Karachi: Who converted the city of lights into a city of garbage?

GVS News Desk with additional input by other sources