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KARACHI: Following unprecedented monsoon spells in the city, communicable diseases are on the rise and an urgent municipal emergency is needed in all its districts to protect the lives of citizens, especially women and children, said Pasban Democratic Party (PDP) Chairman Altaf Shakoor.

He said urban floods, water-logging and collapse of drainage system have resulted in the spread of infectious diseases and all government and private hospitals and clinics are witnessing a huge rush of patients.

He said that post-rains diseases like vector-borne dengue, chikungunya and malaria and gastrointestinal diseases like typhoid, cholera and stomach infections have become a serious healthcare threat in the city.

He said that the solid waste collection sector is the worst-performing sector in Karachi. Despite private contractors extorting huge amounts from taxpayers’ funds, they don't remove garbage from the city.

He said the nexus of contractors and corrupt bureaucracy has put healthcare of the citizens at stake. The KMC and DMCs have become dens of corruption as political workers employed in them without merit, and purely on political grounds, do not work and just draw their salaries.

He said that despite court orders, no action is seen to purge these departments of these political workers.

Altaf Shakoor said that the recent rains have not only exposed the vulnerable civic infrastructure of the mega-city, but also the nadir of governance on the part of the Sindh government as well as the KMC and DMCs.

He said many streets in low-lying neighbourhoods have been converted into pools of sewage-mixed contaminated rainwater that are proving to be good breeding grounds for mosquitoes and houseflies and helping spread communicable diseases in Karachi.

He called for immediate imposition of municipal emergency in the city to lift heaps of garbage, to open choked drainage lines and to pump out accumulated rainwater from different localities, especially slums.

The mega-city is facing an outbreak of dengue and malaria due to ample breeding of mosquitoes and the health department should take all precautionary steps right now to protect the citizens.

The PDP leader regretted that the already poor civic infrastructure in the city has been further battered by recent monsoon rains.

He said broken roads and streets with flowing gutter water have become a source of great anguish for the Karachiites. He asked why the government is least concerned to address the issues faced by the citizens.

After the rains, he said, commuters are suffering a lot due to the potholed roads. The federal and Sindh governments are shying away from investing in civic infrastructure of the mega-city.

He said Karachi is providing the lion’s share of revenue to the whole country, but it is left orphaned and abandoned by the rulers. Like the previous government, the present central government is least interested in the city.

Altaf Shakoor called for a weeklong intensive drive in all union councils of Karachi to lift garbage and repair gutter lines so that the onslaught of communicable diseases could be stopped.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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