The recent monsoon in Karachi has been nothing short of a turmoil. What is being considered as the worst spell of rains in Karachi, has exposed many shortcomings in the city.
Karachi, Pakistan’s metropolitan city, holding 10% of the population and almost 55% of leverage in the country’s economy, has been thrown to the dogs.
Governance by the PPP and MQM is being questioned. The roads have sunk, houses destroyed, no electricity or internet and people dying. Who is responsible?
Although these questions have been put up for the rest of Karachi before, the same is being followed the first time by residents of Defence Housing Authority (DHA) Karachi.
Protest scheduled for September 3rd
With the rains destroying DHA and Clifton, the people of these localities are now standing up against authorities of DHA and Cantonment Board Clifton.
A huge protest has been scheduled for September 3rd at DHA’s Phase 1 office. Thousands of residents are signing a petition and confirming their presence.
“We wish to register our legitimate right to get the supply of basic amenities of potable water, stable electricity, effective discharge and flow of drains and sewerage, elimination of hanging electricity wires & data cables, fixing of broken poles, providing of security [as well as] repair & re-carpeting of broken roads,” said one resident of DHA.
Now, to overcome the torment residents of DHA and Clifton have gone through, they have decided on a 23-demand list that must be fulfilled.
Here are the demands by residents of DHA and Clifton
- Return the taxes taken from Residents in the form of Development Charges for “stormwater drains” project worth billions which failed completely
- Accountability of the contractors and decision-makers for these useless Storm Water Drains
- Immediate removal of these cement slabs in the middle of the roads with holes in them
- Removal of “charges” and “fees” on every kind of activity, approval, and transaction inside our own homes
- Installation of sewage treatment plant immediately
- Stop the pollution from 150 million gallons of untreated effluent from DHA to be dumped directly into the sea
- Sharing of 10 years audit report so residents know how their tax money is being spent
- Stop reclaiming land from the sea for more housing without an infrastructure plan. This will increase further drainage/ sanitation problems
- Stop renting out empty plots for the storage of animals
- A separate area of storing of animals
- Designated Slaughterhouses
- New international standards drainage system to be installed immediately
- Immediate repair of broken sewerage lines and roads
- Hanging cables and telephone wires to go underground immediately
- All electricity poles to be earthed and every pole be issued safety certificate by DHA. Saving lives is a joint responsibility. All lives matter
- KESC statements to be taken seriously by DHA. “Non-KE wires on power distribution infrastructure, such as streetlights or TV, telephone or internet cables, are a major safety hazard, as they damage KE’s infrastructure and bypass safety protection mechanisms.”
- Beggars removed from every street signal
- All empty plots to be garbage-free (empty plots are the responsibility of DHA)
- No more paying for water. Remove the Tanker Mafia immediately. If hydrants can have unlimited water supply why can’t our houses?
- No construction on our beaches. Spend our money on our drainage system
- Make a proper system of debris removal and construction material spillover on our roads.
- All craters on roads due to rains to be attended immediately so as not to lead to more loss of life 22. Roads dug up for various utilities and left uncarpeted to warrant heavy fines to the contractors
- Stop bringing in officials from around the country to head key positions in DHA and CBC. Locals of the city to be appointed only
The result of this protest will only be seen on September 3rd. However, it is surely a strong belief within DHA Karachi that the residents will not bow down now.
For over 10 years, locals of the area have been paying development and maintenance taxes, which are unaccounted for. So bad was the condition that people had to rescue policemen instead.
A thorough audit is needed, and the work needs to be done. So that next time it rains in DHA, the area does not give shades of the Arabian Sea.