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I was driving through Saddar, Hyderabad when my car hit a bump on the road. This was a new bump. Not one of your usual Pakistani ones which are found almost on every road ever built in our country. I started noticing that the already narrow roads were being dug open. It’s been years since anyone has done anything with these roads. Although a little troubled, but I was glad that these roads were finally being rebuilt.
A week later, I had to run an errand in Saddar and I found myself on the same bumpy road and it was in an even worse condition now. I did a little asking around and was told that PTCL was laying some new wires for better connectivity. Strangely, the contractors who were responsible for getting the job done were only digging holes in the road, but not covering them up.
When the laborers were leaving I asked them when they would cover up these holes they have dug, they replied that they have not been told to do such a thing, at least not properly. The holes they did cover up resembled the tiny forts built by stacking some rocks against each other by the hands of 12-year-olds.
It is one thing that the internet service provided by PTCL is down most of the times or that their circuits keep catching fire resulting in breakdowns, but to ruin roads which won’t be rebuilt for at least a decade, keeping in mind PPP’s track record, is just reckless.
You would expect from Pakistan’s leading telecommunication company to help the citizens and the customers instead of adding to their problems and difficulties. Instead, what PTCL did was dig up some roads, get their work done and just move on without giving any thought to the fact that their doing can cause major accidents and can cost someone his/her life.
In other parts of the world, telecommunication companies are not only providing the optimal level of services but are also contributing to the betterment of the society. Companies like AT&T and Verizon Communications are always donating to social causes and constantly trying to make the citizens’ lives better.
According to Wikipedia, The Verizon Foundation donates around $70 million annually to nonprofit organizations which are concerned with education, domestic violence prevention, and energy management. On the other hand, there is no such thing called corporate social responsibility in PTCL’s rulebook.
PTCL should be taking the lead when it comes to creating awareness about social issues and must thrive to solve or at least try to solve the many problems that are prevalent in our society. There is nothing wrong with installing new equipment or laying new wires, but digging holes and causing protrusions in the already mediocre roads is just unethical.
A day before yesterday, one of my neighbor’s car got caught up in one of the many holes dug by PTCL. Yesterday, one of the workers accidently hit a sewage line while digging which resulted in the entire road being flooded by sewer water. Is this what we should expect from PTCL? Should we only expect the worst from our leading telecommunication company?
While I write this piece, there are laborers outside my house, mutating the roads of our colony. And this is happening in most areas of Hyderabad. Some of these roads were miraculously built recently and are being dug open and deformed again.
Thanks to this plan of laying wires, now, not only while using the internet, but also when I am stuck in a traffic jam or have got a flat tire, I will be reminded of PTCL’s incompetence and the Sindh government’s ignorance. May God, save other cities of Pakistan from PTCL’s wrath.