After record-breaking rain which totaled 223.5mm in a 12-hour period wrecked Karachi making life impossible for citizens as mobile phone services, internet services, landlines, the communications infrastructure and highways all collapsed.
News of desperation and death managed to make their way to social media, with most people in the metropolis dealing with crippling power breakdowns and little to no phone signals.
Images of floating ‘containers’, drowning cars and stranded people have shown just how broken the city is. While a Friday holiday was announced in the megacity given the situation, that has hardly helped those whose homes are flooded and those who can’t reach family members because of the broken down communication infrastructure.
Even after the rains stopped in Karachi, water has accumulated on the roads of the city and all areas are also showing the appearance of streams and drains.
For the past 13 years, Pakistan People’s Party is ruling in the Sindh province, but the people of Karachi are still deprived of their basic rights.
While the Muttahida Qaumi Movement Pakistan (MQM-P) had the powers of the local bodies of major cities of Sindh and the Karachi Mayor Wasim Akhtar had completed his term as a most failed Mayor of the city.
During his entire four-year tenure, Wasim Akhtar did not do any significant work for the city but continued to take full advantage of government resources.
However, it is clear that instead of investing Karachi’s resources for the betterment of the city, he filled their coffers and are now planning to flee the country to avoid accountability and have already sent their family abroad.
The Pakistan Peoples Party-led Sindh government, the Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan led Karachi Metropolitan Corporation (KMC) and Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf-led federal government continue to blame one another over Karachi’s issues and failed to address these problems.
The sixth spell of rain wreaked havoc in Karachi and caused the loss of billions of rupees besides unprecedented heavy rain claimed 80 lives, including 47 in the city.
Yes, the amount of rain has been unprecedented, but Karachi’s infrastructure problems have been around much longer, and they have to be fixed.
There is no excuse for what the city has become. Anyone playing politics over this or trying to shift the blame to one or the other is in reality playing with the lives of the people of this city.
Identifying the boundaries of Karachi, its population, and the nature of the problems, there is an urgent need for the federal government to play its role in natural disasters and extraordinary circumstances.
Nothing less than a real move to help Karachi show now be demanded – of all stakeholders, in particular the Sindh government.