Eidul Azha passes, but Karachi streets still stink

Karachi: Though the Eidul Azha has passed and after Eid holidays all government offices have started work, but the inner streets of many parts of the city still stink, as remains of offal and other liter is yet to be lifted from them.

After the three-day Eidul Azha celebrations, the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation (KMC) did a good job to lift garbage and offal from almost all main arteries, but the inner lanes and small streets in all towns of the city are still strewn with litter and remains of offal, waiting for an aggressive cleaning.

The sanitary conditions in Karachi have never remained satisfactory and on the occasions of Eidul Azha they go worsened as the KMC is unable to clean each and every street of this mega city. Although, it tries its best to clean at least main roads and arteries but rotting offal and other liter could be found in small lanes and inner streets in many parts of the city. The KMC officials say they lack funds to opt for an extensive and aggressive cleanliness drive at Muhalla level.

The KMC is not only cash stripped but also sadly marred with mismanagement, political appointments and wastage of resources. Its costly machinery is mostly in need of repair. Mechanical sweepers imported from Turkey at the whooping cost of Rs1billion are parked idle as they mysteriously developed faults within one year, like the Green CNG buses. There is no inquiry and audit how these brand new mechanical sweepers and CNG buses had developed faults. Had these mechanical sweepers used in post-Eid cleaning drive it would have helped a lot in better sanitary conditions in the city.

The Sindh government does not release enough funds to the KMC to meet its monetary needs. However, the KMC is also not working itself to increase its revenue as majority of its officers and staffers lack ability and vision of how to run mega cities professionally. Like other government departments corruption is also rampant in the KMC and the culture of political interference has resulted in ghost employee culture. It is said that a large number of KMC employees does not perform their duties properly and no one could dare taking disciplinary action against them.

The pathetic sanitary conditions of the city are resulting in spread of vector diseases. Dengue viral fever, malaria and typhoid are common in Karachi and patients belonging to poor and low income families face a lot of problems as the government-run hospitals of the city have already been overburdened. However, proper street-cleaning, regular lifting of garbage from dumping points, opening chocked gutters and supply of clean and chlorinated potable water could help a lot in decreasing disease burden of Karachi.

It needs that the political leadership of Karachi changes its vision about how to run the city and ensure that appointments and postings in key public service departments and organizations are on pure merit, the ghost employee culture is ended and unbridled corruption is ended or at least lessened. This would not only benefit the Karachiites but would also pay dividends to political stakeholders of the city in the coming local bodies and general elections, in which voters would give more consideration to performance than slogans and emotional appeals.

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