Problems boil over when it rains !
CLOUDY weather across the country has made the weather better. Heat and humidity have subsided, but the first spell of the monsoon rain has also exposed the incompetence of local bodies.
Roads and low-lying areas of the country’s big and small cities are once again suffering from waterlogging.
The local bodies claim to spend millions of rupees annually on the cleaning of storm drains and billions of rupees for the improvement of roads and infrastructure, but the common man is deprived of its fruits.
Unlike in the past, the government’s preparations for dealing with possible problems have been on display even before the onset of the monsoon this year, but the first rain of monsoon season has opened up all the pools of government preparations.
It is unfortunate that despite the monsoon weather schedule, the demeanour of our administrative machinery has not changed.
No one cares about the loss of roads, collapse of bridges, flooding of embankments, and the loss of millions of cusecs of rainwater.
Monsoon rains are not happening for the first time, it is the norm every year but to deal with it, the authorities have not paid any attention to improve the system.
Except for some areas of Lahore, the situation is no different from Karachi. Urban Karachi is in a state of disrepair.
Drainage system is outdated; sewerage lines cannot carry the burden of urban population and engineering experts for drainage espy large rainwater drains on highways have been blocked in garbage dumps for years and these drains become a barrier to drainage due to illegal encroachment and construction of markets.
There is no denying the fact that unless the country’s political system is stabilized, stakeholder reconciliation and local government system is established, no urban development plan and the dream of peace and tranquillity of the citizens will ever be realized.
Local and provincial governments can thrive only under the shadow of a strong democratic system.
The current democratic system is becoming incapable of carrying its own burden, so the problems boil over as soon as a few drops of rain fall.
It is the job of the local body representatives not the MPs to work for the welfare of the people.
The government should focus on the overall stability and breakthrough of the system and mechanism to address public issues.
Power has to be transferred to the lower level through the local government system then the problems of the people can be solved through the real representatives of the people.
—The writer is a regular columnist, based in Lahore.