Severe traffic jam, cratered roads, submerged thoroughfares and garbage heaps have become hallmark of Karachi while the civic authorities appeared feckless to solve the problems of the citizens.
It seems that Karachi Metropolitan Corporation’s (KMC) 100-day cleanliness drive also has failed because no major change is visible as far as provision of civic facilities such as removal of wastes, smooth traffic regulation and city’s beautification measures are concerned.
“The city situation is getting from bad to worse day by day, as no one owns it, unfortunately,” lamented a motorist who was stuck in traffic jam on main M.A Jinnah Road where sewerage water stagnated on Thursday.
Roads leading to in Airport Area, Tariq Road, Lucky Star area in Saddar, Metropole Hotel, Garden Road, Korangi, Hyderi Market in North Nazimabad , Tannery Road , Shah Bhittai Road and streets in Lyari were also submerged by sewerage water causing severe problems to motorists as well as the residents.
Karachiites also complain that the ongoing development projects as part of provincial and district annual development programs (ADPs) also badly affected the traffic system at main city arteries.
The police and city wardens have failed to regulate flow of traffic particularity during the peak hours. Traffic remained disturbed in University Road from Hassan Square to Safoora Chowk due to the road expansion work. Alongside people, civil society also expressed concerns over the cutting of trees on roads. They apprehended that the government’s move would negatively affect the city environment and human health.
Similar chaotic situation of traffic can be witnessed on Tariq Road due to reconstruction of the road from Shaheed-e-Millat Road to Shahrah-e-Quaideen. The two way expansion work of Shahra-e-Faisal from Metropole to Star Gate also created severe issues to the vehicular traffic.
Zeeshan Ahmad, a resident of Muslim Town apprehends that the work on the federally-financed green line project badly disturbed the vehicular movement from Gurumandir roundabout to Nazimabad area. “Before the launch of this project, it took 20 minutes to easily reach to my office from home. But now, it takes me one hour or even more because of traffic jam,” he said.
Meanwhile, Karachi Mayor Waseem Akhtar asked KMC to make all-out efforts for timely completion of city’s ongoing infrastructure development schemes to relieve people. In a meeting with KMC engineering department officials, the other day, Waseem called for quality and transparency on the mega uplift projects.
The PPP-led Sindh government has also allocated a major chunk of Rs 10 billion as ‘special package’ for Karachi to improve its infrastructure. It may be mentioned here that KMC is supervising various provincial ADP schemes as working agency. Director General Technical Services Shahab Anwar, chief engineers, consultants, project directors, and other KMC officials were also present at the meeting where officials gave a detailed briefing to the Mayor about the schemes under both provincial and district ADPs.
They included: repair work of drains in FB Area Block-11 at the cost of Rs 49.25 million, repair and restoration work of Saddar Pichar Nullah at Rs 312 million, repairing and restoration of Kalri Nullah Lyari at around Rs 220 million, and installation of sewerage pipeline to drain out water.
Road construction and repairing work at Korangi areas at 163 million; construction of two way roads and channelization of Chakor Nullah against some 200 million; road repairing work at scheme-33 Superhighway against Rs 185 million; construction of Golimar Underpass at the cost of Rs 450.7 million; expansion work of Shafeeq Morh at 140 million; repair work of Jam Sadiq Bridge at Rs 125.2 million; construction of Korangi-5000 Road against Rs 91.5 million; construction of Korangi Flyover at Rs 400 million; repair and restoration of the remaining portion of 150ft wide Korangi road at the cost of Rs 127 million; reconstruction and restoration work of National Highway from Jinnah Terminal Flyover to Quaidabad Malir at Rs 785.2 million; Hawkesbay Younisabad Bridge’s construction at Rs 192.6 million.
The Mayor was briefed that there are 249 projects under district ADP to be accomplished by the KMC in all the six districts of the metropolis this year.
These schemes are related to education works, road constructions, health, culture and sports etc. A KMC statement said that the district ADP budget for this year is around Rs 5 billion.