A multi-storey residential building in Korangi succumbed to its rapidly weakening foundations, on account of the accumulation of rain and sewerage water in the basement, and collapsed on Thursday—brutally killing one child and injuring 10 people as a whole. Considering that infrastructural damages to the building had been reported to, and subsequently neglected by, the city development authorities three days prior to the incident, can the citizens of Karachi expect even the bare minimum of responsibilities to be fulfilled?

In the status quo, Karachi is infected with a plethora of issues—ineffective waste management, excessive flooding, a long-standing tussle with K-Electric, illegal encroachments and many others. Another predicament that the people now face is deteriorating infrastructure which presents an unfair tradeoff to the people who can either abandon their homes or protect their lives. Currently, 40-50 former residents of the Korangi building now find themselves to be homeless and displaced until their demand for alternative residence is not granted by the local government. With each hurdle that the people face, authorities continue to display stark complacency, general apathy and lack of motivation to right all the wrongs in Karachi. These problems are those with very simple solutions; however, the lack of action throughout the course of decades is now manifesting in the crumbing metropolis.

The very least that can be expected off bodies like Karachi Development Authority is regular checks and balances. If proper procedures would have been followed, the fact that the building was made illegally and on encroached land would have been unearthed. Similarly, complaints of water collecting in the basement, rusty pipes and the collapse of the main weight-bearing pillar would have been resolved and the building would have been shut down immediately. Clearly, diligence is a trait that needs to be incorporated on such levels of governance specifically. We can no longer condone threatening the lives of countless individuals by turning a blind eye towards such incidences.