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Pakistan

August 11, 2019

Deadly electric poles and rains play havoc in Karachi

Pakistan

Sun, Aug 11, 2019


KARACHI: Rains quickly become a curse in an ill-planned sprawling mega city like Karachi. The initial joy quickly trickles away with tragic news of deaths by electrocution. It is the same story again. Four people, including a 13-year-old, died from electrocution in just two days of rain.

Unfortunately, every year several lives are lost in the rainy season from electrocution but no one seems to care. No action is taken against the people who are responsible for these deaths due to incompetence which is why no one takes steps to plan ahead to make the city safer during rains.

Rains are not a rare phenomenon in the world and man has developed ways to keep safe and comfortable during different seasons and weather changes. Cities have developed measures over the years to protect people from being electrocuted  during severe rains and even storms. All we need to do is get technological knowhow of what plans of other cities and apply them here, especially in Karachi so that no one dies from electrocution.

This is an ambitious demand in a country where authorities have failed to build a proper infrastructure to last even one rain spell. All claims of development work in Pakistan’s largest city and industrial hub wash away with the rains exposing the tardiness of those responsible, who immediately take refuge in an ongoing blame-game wasting everyone’s time.

If the authorities would take out time from their political shenanigans and focus on the responsibilities entrusted to them by the voter maybe issues would begin to get resolved soon. Maybe, just maybe – but quite a tough challenge - if funds were actually spent on the projects they were given for maybe the infrastructure would be better than it is.

If nothing can be done, maybe some NGO or someone can organize a campaign in which we recycle the plastic waste that is otherwise dangerous for us but hard to dispose to be used to cover electric poles throughout the city so that people are protected by the deadly poles.

As always, there are reports of roads sinking creating deadly craters in many parts of Karachi. The truth is that even before these rains the roads were not in great shape although many went through an overhaul just before the elections, to make way for new Pakistan.

There is also news of flooding from other areas of the city and that several small goths (villages) located on the suburbs of the city have been completely washed away. A family was washed away in strong current of water – passersby saved most of the family members but two children are missing.

Moreover, we all know the government will not compensate anyone for their loss – as others before them whom the authorities promised compensation but never paid.

Also news that at least one boat (no confirmation whether it is the navy’s or private) has been taken out for rescue and relief in one of the posh areas of Karachi. Interesting and scary as one can only shudder to think of what is happening in smaller cities and villages with weak or no infrastructure and no authority to keep take on responsibility.

The real scenario will be revealed after the water recedes, followed by follow-ups in the media and screaming matches on talk shows between political leaders. This will then lead to a noisy blame-game and a series of accusations in which we will be constantly reminded that ‘the fault dear Pakistanis lies in the prior government, the Martians and Bob’s uncle not in us’ - so deal with.

The common people will try to get their lives back on track grumbling and frustrated and everyone will return to the routine of mundane life only to find out that they will be paying more taxes for lesser civic amenities.