KARACHI, (MANEND NEWS): The threat of Cyclone Biparjoy may be over. The skies may have cleared up for now. Still, it is the middle of June with monsoon season upon our heads.
The rains last year caused much havoc in the country. There were floods that displaced millions of people and caused billions of dollars worth of damage here. The poor weren’t the only ones who were affected or displaced. The posh area of Defence Housing Authority (DHA) was also flooded and so many residents there had to be rescued from their houses in 4×4 SUVs.
Then came the idea of building a new storm water drain to surpass all other storm water drains. DHA’s Storm Water Drain Project, which started in September of last year, is still under way. Cyclone Biparjoy was thought to bring extreme devastation to the already dug up DHA. Thankfully, the cyclone turned directions and the residents of the area breathed a sigh of relief.
A visit to various areas in DHA finds the trenches are still there posing more problems if not closed up before the rains. Thus there is a race against time going on in DHA though as work is completed at some spots, more digging commences at others, making the most posh area of the city akin to Katchi abadis (slums). These days there is a joke circulating among the residents of DHA that there used to be one Khadda Market in DHA but now the entire DHA has turned into a khadda (ditch).
Dug-up roads in DHA due to storm water drain project and massive iron frames of billboards all over city still pose serious threat
Wherever the surgery has been completed and the roads closed up, there is still no carpeting. Monsoon rains would create lots of puddles.
The panaflex sheets have partially been removed from majority of the billboards installed in the city to allow wind to pass through. The metal frames, however, are still up there defying government orders to remove all such structures. As the city has witnessed several disastrous urban flooding events in the recent years, the dug-up roads in the metropolis, like this road in the DHA (right), may prove extremely dangerous to unsuspecting road users during monsoon. —Fahim Siddiqi / White Star
The Abdul Sattar Edhi Road was reopened for traffic. There were also plenty of ice cream vendors cycling around on the road instead of the DHA Vigilance trucks and motorcycles, which were patrolling there while sounding the alarm. Lots and lots of picnickers, too, could be spotted on the beach with many camels and dune buggies also present doing good business during low tide on Saturday afternoon. Strangely, no one realised that the sea was still rough due to the monsoon.
Another issue is of the billboards in the entire city. There were orders to take them down as there was danger of their falling down and injuring people during the cyclone. But in the rush, not all billboards could be removed. Mostly the massive iron frames were left intact. Only the panaflex advertising was removed from them or big holes were punched in it in order to let the winds pass through. So the billboards are still hanging over people’s heads like swords.