Karachi: City of debris

Anyone with good eyesight and a reasonable sense of hygiene could easily conclude that Karachi, previously known as city of lights, has now turned into the city of debris. The residents have been living in a pile of garbage for so long they don’t even remember what clean looks like now. The meaning of hygiene has been lost somewhere in the huge stacks of garbage and muddy water everywhere. The sewerage lines have been really unkind to the lost city. If you get out of the house, you’re likely to see some form of garbage lying on the road. The plastic shopping bags are the first thing witnessed by people when the wind blows. And God forbids if it rains, a whole new sea forms in front of houses in most areas. Not a long ago Karachi was named the 6th worst city to live in. The city generates an estimated 6,000 tons of solid waste and over 12,000 tons of general waste daily of which forty percent can be found lying on the streets. About 1,400 tons of waste per day is picked by street pickers from the garbage and about 600 tons of recyclable waste is separated. In Karachi, municipalities allot different sites for dumping of waste, but they are all out of capacity and garbage flows out on the roads. Outdoor burning of garbage is also observed in various areas which cause extreme smoke and environmental degradation. Karachi, with constant population influx, is expected to generate 16,000 tons of garbage daily by 2020. Somewhere between the 1970’s and early 80’s Karachi was one of the cleanliest cities of the world. It was a tourists’ attraction back then. But as time progressed the situation only got worse and is worsening even by each passing day.

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