Thursday Aug 08 2019

Let's clean Karachi

Launching the Let’s Clean Karachi campaign will be easy, maintaining the process of cleaning it will be the main problem

Finally, something is being done by the government that has forced many cynics to reconsider their opinion about the ruling party. The reason for this: Federal Minister for Maritime Affairs Ali Haider Zaidi’s recently launched ‘Let’s Clean Karachi’ campaign. The concept for this campaign has once again given hope to the people of Karachi that finally their city is going to get the much-needed attention from authorities.

Nobody expects a miracle, it is not the 1950s when sea water was pumped through a network of underground pipes to hydrants to wash the paved roads at night. However, one wants to believe that this ambitious campaign is not old wine in a new bottle and is a well thought out plan that can be executed soon. Karachittes are more than willing to support it even though they are aware that it is an extremely difficult task to begin cleaning mountains of rubbish and garbage across the city.

According to an estimate made in 2018, Karachi produces 9,000 tons of garbage per day and it will require a huge chunk of funds to get this process moving. But Karachiites are ready to help the authorities in any way possible to get this job started especially with Eid-ul-Azha so close. Everyone wants to see the City of Quaid rise out of the heaps of dirt it has been submerged in for more than a decade.

Launching the Let’s Clean Karachi campaign will be easy, maintaining the process of cleaning it will be the main problem.

It’s easy to talk the talk but will the concerned authorities be able to walk the walk? Will the authorities and the people of this huge city be able to maintain the new clean status?

Well, if we look around the city there are patches that are clean and green. Critics say that these areas are under the Defense Housing Authority, Cantonments and housing societies which is why they are cleaner than the rest of the city. These areas have systems and rules that are enforced and fines are issued guaranteeing a streamline system. True, these areas are not only well-planned but also funded.

Other areas need to also develop some kind of system to copy these patterns. The government should cough up the funds given for this with the people using their new found power via social media to keep the pressure on to get the work done.

Karachiites need to actively keep an eye on the authorities working on keeping the city clean and call them out when needed.

Area-specific voluntary groups – mohallah committees –should be resuscitated to keep an eye on government funds and officers, taking action including legal action against those who fail to produce results.

These mohallah committees can organise weekly or monthly voluntary campaigns like ‘Let’s Clean Karachi’ and involve elected representatives to continue to contribute to the campaign.

Here’s hoping to see a cleaner Karachi soon.