Just a Thought

dolphin_park.JPGRecent rain took all cloths off the officials. So, will this be the fate of Clifton Underpass next year ?. Got this one in e-mail.

Will people see a dolphin park at this popular place if nothing practical is done to address the serious issue of drainage/sewage system in Karachi which is even more serious in other less fortunate areas that will get the last attention of higher officials due to reasons we all know. With its ever increasing population and absolute dismal situation of cleanliness we hope and pray that this only remains a thought. It’s quite absurd for the time being but let’s see next year.
Whats your observation & prediction about the state of affairs during rains in Karachi Next year ?

18 Comments so far

  1. Tee Emm (unregistered) on August 22nd, 2006 @ 9:31 am

    Our problem – not just that of Clifton area – is that we have grown up without master plans being in place. There is a point in growth cycles of organizations and entities where planning is not needed for just for efficiency but is needed for the very survival of it.

    Cosmetic repairs (3M cat-eyes on glossy black roads) without proper planning (in this case drainage, electricity & communication systems) will always last one season at most.

    The last CDGK did a lot of cosmetic stuff. Current CDGK is doing a lot of under-the-hood repairs (sewerage & stuff). While the later might be better than the former in certain senses, what will haut Karachites for years to come is the absence of any master plan(s) in the basic dimensions of urban life.

    You are talking about next season; I am getting paranoid to even light drizzles since Friday! Such is the state of affairs of the world around us.

  2. Xill-e-Ilahi (unregistered) on August 22nd, 2006 @ 9:49 am

    love the doctored pic…

    i personally do not think th futre is at all bleak. we’re gradually getting to where we had to go – in fits and starts no doubt – but the government is taking some of the small steps it has to.

    if you ignore the clifton/bath island area the rest of the city was reclaimed pretty efficiently by the cdgk people after thursday’s torrential downpour – something which was inconceivable a couple of years ago.

    but i agree with tee emm. we need a proper master plan. and fast.

  3. Foize (unregistered) on August 22nd, 2006 @ 9:50 am

    Our predictions about the Karachi’s ‘rainy’ future on one side, but i would love to have dolphins in the underpass…For the first time, we’ll get to make good use of it…

  4. Mariam (unregistered) on August 22nd, 2006 @ 10:00 am

    Are we allowed to feed the Dolphins then I’m in..

    Who is really behind this underpass project? Do they have any experience in this kind of project or they’re just wasting people’s money. As this is not an easy task to accomplish without experienced engineers. Come to think where are the Chinese when you need them.

  5. Anathema (unregistered) on August 22nd, 2006 @ 11:05 am

    Author’s Note : Edited for clarity

    Underpass and fountain were KPT project. Karachi receives rains once in three years or at max bi-annually which is a known fact. 1992. 1994. Then a dry spell or moderate rain for some years. then a good healthy spell in 2001. 2003. and now 2006.

    I agree about the absence of a master plan. Sadly enough, you can’t blame people. We’re right now trying to clean up a mess created by years of misadministration. And practically, decades of misadministration. Rains wreaked havoc in the 1970s and 1960s in defence phases 1 through 4. Boats! Naval boats! But has drainage been fixed? Nope.

    Kashmir road was broken for a good 12 years in the early 80s until in 1990-1991 the then mayor undertook it upon himself to make sure the KMC and KWSB lines do not damage the road. It took one year to make that road. To date there is no seepage.

    It’s all about planning. But in creating a master plan right now, and putting it to action, this govt. will have gone. Change of hands will initiate yet another blame game and then… back to square one.

    I think we should appreciate what this govt is doing right now. Thursday’s rains were bad. Worse than the Monday where the underpass first filled up. But Friday morning on my way quite a bit of the city was drying up, or half pumped.

    What we can suggest: the rain spell ends around first or second week of September. Then they local authorities have till may 2007 at least to fix up drainage, as a first step. Reactive yet a big help. And simultaneously draw up a master plan and put in 24 hour service, 3 shifts of work and see to the progress.

  6. Mariam (unregistered) on August 22nd, 2006 @ 11:57 am

    Right now I’m little more worried about water borne diseases. If authorities didn’t move fast we have a epidemic in building.


    You gave nice suggestions. Why our city planners doesn’t employ people like you?

  7. simzy (unregistered) on August 22nd, 2006 @ 12:15 pm

    Now that we are talking about the rain fall and the underpass or should I rather call it the damaged areas with rain. After the Thursday’s rain fall our respected city nazem (Mustafa Kamal) saying in an interview on having the damaged areas cleared. According to him 99.9% of the city areas have been cleaned!!!!!!!! That surprises me. It looks like either he doe not know KARACHI or the Areas near to he homes has been cleaned and that makes him think the 99.9% areas are clean. These people really need to have a look at it . or come out of the comfortable cars and travel in buses or walk on the road then on decided to talking like this and stop fooling public .

  8. simzy (unregistered) on August 22nd, 2006 @ 12:46 pm

    P.S I would also like to see the 99.9% cleaned areas in city…the roads are dig up for the water to move from the road to every where. Clifton roads are block for the buses because it’s being cleaned. The DHA Areas are still flooded with water. Many diseases are spreading. I still don’t see the cleaner where is 99.9% cleaned ….its simple dashed my brain. When the try and fool people who have there own eyes to see

  9. schawlaf (unregistered) on August 22nd, 2006 @ 1:13 pm

    Just like our minister said that the purpose of Fountain is to show people Switzerland in Karachi , the same way the purpose of the underpass is to show people a SEA World , Venice , Amazon ( drop some Piranhas in the water ) etc , the possibilities are endless , they can divide the underpass in diffrent section , the one towards 3 talwar should be Sea World Karachi , the one under the bridge should be underwater fish tank and the one towards Do Talwar should be water sports arena with Gondolas , ample ligthing will be provided from near by billboards

  10. Anathema (unregistered) on August 22nd, 2006 @ 1:34 pm

    @ MB: im sorry about my typos. i prefer pens to keyboards.
    by all means feel free to edit for spelling mistakes.

    @ Mariam: erm. i know this government has a lot of people who are ther to wortk and not mint money. actually the species exists in every government. the only problem being the bad fish in a clean pond. ther are politics, there are people who are looking for kickbacks and opportunities. there are too many reasons that we see behind what we, like some commentors have done, criticise.

    it is very sad to see that we fail to understand that an effort is underway, and instead of appreciating it and commending it, we simply lambast away.

    here’s a note to people: change does not occur by lambasting away.

    there i too much happening. and not enough resources. if there are resources somewhere, then there are too many political issues etc etc.

    @ Simzy: did you go around Karachi on Thursday evening and be witness to the volume of inundation and water around any area? After that, did you compare the levels on Friday and Saturday?

    Trust me when I say I have seen a lot of improvement between Thursday and till yesterday. Friday on my way to office, I was surprised to see i was able to wade my through heavy water levels, but from what I had seen on Geo, this water level was nothing. I saw the change. And fine maybe the water has not subsided to the ideal extent. but it has. and an effort is still underway. go otu and roam the city. go through many areas and watch the number of pipes pumping water.

    people were criticising the underpass “bumps”. Ever taken a second to notice what’s under those bumps? It was the ideal emergency civil engineering: five HUGE THICK pipes which are constantly pumping water. In addition to that the bumps prevent water flooding the underpass.

    Right now, we have a crisis. We need to sort out as much as quickly. the long-term work has to come later.

  11. Alz (unregistered) on August 22nd, 2006 @ 2:41 pm

    We should not blame the current government or CDGK ..atleast over mayor is showing some generosity towards civilians .. Its not his or his government fault but its those who started it, now we should work together to improve and solve these problems rather than playing blame game.

  12. Zag (unregistered) on August 22nd, 2006 @ 2:44 pm

    Very well said Anathema…. Also everytime it’s not the government’s fault. Case in point would be the new U-turn cuts that the cdgk built on university road. they were an excellent idea and the only thing left to do was to install the traffic lights and the traffic jams would have been reduced considerably. however, those have now been destroyed by someone in the general public who was too impatient to go through it all.

  13. simzy (unregistered) on August 22nd, 2006 @ 3:08 pm

    Well tell you what I end up spending the night at my office….give it a wild guess why?. You are talking about me going that night and checking out the areas right? Well I went all around & many places more then you can think a girl can. I was wondering about the 99.9% of the “clean areas”. Or maybe its just the way you defined city!!!!. Because the traffic people were stuck everywhere for even 8 hours. And people didn’t know where they might end up falling, in ditch or something, so please have a look around everywhere and then talk about city being at a better place. Most of us here live near Clifton & around so we don’t know much about the rest of the city. I have seen it before never was it like this. It all happened after the new roads were made.

  14. Anathema (unregistered) on August 22nd, 2006 @ 3:30 pm


    can you blame the government for the electrical lives wires to fal into the water?

    and most importantly: will the blame game do anyone any good right now?

    its not a time to blame and point fingers. its a time to do whatever can be done to normalise things

  15. anon_khi (unregistered) on August 22nd, 2006 @ 3:35 pm

    Am not blaming anyone. Just want to know why is it taking such a long time to normalize Clifton this time around. The first time it rained, they got Bathisland & Clifton cleaned up in 5 -6 days (not all of it but most of it). This time, instead of improving, Bathisland and Clifton are getting worse. So anyone know what is really going on and why they cannot get the water drained?

  16. MB (unregistered) on August 22nd, 2006 @ 8:28 pm

    can you blame the government for the electrical lives wires to fal into the water?

    Was not the government suppose to protect the life & property of people, what so ever according to constitution & according to all human basics?
    This government had one year to fix the electricity related issues. Had it done 10 percent improvement, results would have been different.
    Having said that I must say this guy, Mustafa Kamal is far move sensitive to the problems we are facing and he may not be having a good team (read having a corrupt team), he is doing his part very well. Keep it up Kamal. I cannot imagine how would things would be if this be the case with Naimatullah being at the top.

    So anyone know what is really going on and why they cannot get the water drained?
    Ye hamaray 59 years ke paap (sins) hain jo hum bhugat rahay hain. And that’s what’s going on dear.

  17. miggous (unregistered) on August 22nd, 2006 @ 11:58 pm

    Let me update you on the situation ….the sewerage line in our lane has collapsed, sewerage is backed up into our car park and flowing right through our driveway out on the already sewerage flooded street. This has been happening for almost 5 days now with no chance of being fixed in near future.

    We have given up calling and lodging any more complaints at the local KDA (Karachi Development Authority) office because we know they are falling on deaf ears. We have not gone for Isha prayers to our local masjid cause we can’t take our car our without splashing filth on our clothes. We know people living in far worse condition. Desperate times.

  18. Mariam (unregistered) on August 23rd, 2006 @ 2:36 am


    Your comment make me think of the two famous quotes by great leaders.

    1. “Be the change you want to see in the world”, – Mahatma Gandhi

    2. “Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country”, – John F. Kennedy

    System has too many faults in it. I hope people see what happens when you let your affairs in the hand of dictators. Countries should be run by democratic forces who are
    elected by its people. I don’t care which party they belong to as long as it’s a local leader. We’ll see that day soon as Faiz Ahmed Faiz
    predicted it. (I had to use a link to Faiz’s ghazal here as I’ve no idea how to write Urdu in KMB and English translation will never do justice).

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