By Waleed Tariq:
Karachi is a colourful, metropolitan and the largest city of Pakistan with a large sea port. Also known as the mini-Pakistan, once a sleepy town, it is now a bustling city with booming businesses and people of all kinds. But, some of the colour to the city also comes from garbage spread along roads, streets, parks and other public places.
On my walkabout in the city, a significant practice observed was the Citizens’ contribution in keeping their cities polluted. Paan or Gutka chewing is a mammoth problem in our country. The chewer is often in a hunt of a suitable corner; preferably a staircase, lift, or a side wall to spit. Despite the fact he ruins the ‘somewhat beauty’ of the place, he seeks pride in his act.
Similarly, the neighbourhood parks are often spotted with leftover picnic material. This is mainly because of the absence of the garbage bins; either missing on their required locations or simply non-existent. As a matter of fact, the mounting-up of trash and the incessant act of dumping is being developed as a habit in most of the individuals. Little responsibility is taken by the citizens where their attitudes have a direct impact on the efforts being made by the government. In addition, the debris near the newly constructed buildings is often seen to remain for longer periods of time. In this regard, there is little, or at times, no attention given to clearing the mess. Another common problem widely observed is the sewage issue. In many places of Karachi, there simply isn’t any sanitation system, while in other areas it hasn’t functioned efficiently for years.
Furthermore, most prominently, urinating on walls or in the open is another convenience taken advantage of by our countrymen. I have often seen men easing themselves in standing position in the open.
Even though it is a full of life municipal city of more than sixteen million, Karachi still lacks many basic facilities such as dustbins and toilets. Garbage dumps on the roads, streets, and by-lanes are a usual sight over here.
The local government authorities, along with the civil society, should take a serious note of this situation and shall initiate a cleanliness drive with the installation of dustbins, public toilets, proper sanitation and cleansing of the gutters for the convenience of the people by ensuring cleanliness within the city. We ought to follow the methods which the western world has adopted in this regard.