Karachi is drowning because of the torrential downpour, and the public is not buying the explanation that the provincial government is providing. Though the local government is making desperate attempts to bring normalcy to the metropolitan, however, the efforts are insufficient. It is true that the recent monsoon spell was a little tougher than usual, but the city’s infrastructure has proven to be inadequate in coping with such naturally unpredictable changes. This is years of neglect of the sewage and sanitation system that culminates in dirty water flooding the city. The issue in hand, coupled with others, makes the metropolitan among the least liveable cities in the world.

While the provincial government functionaries argue over whether the street has waist-high or ankle-deep water, millions are being lost in public and private property. Vehicles and houses, the only assets available to most people are lost. Tweets on social media with videos that focus on drier parts of the city while behind the camera cars are inundated, is what we have seen so far. However, tangible action without any photo-ops would be better served for the city.

Two years ago, the Prime Minister (PM) Imran Khan had announced a mega-development project worth 162 billion rupees. One of the goals of the project was to find a solution to the urban flooding that wreaks havoc on the people of Karachi. But the recent rains have brutally exposed the hollowness of PM’s development project as well. Virtually, every other government in the centre doles out hefty sums of money to construct mega-development projects for Karachi, and after a bout of heavy rainfall, the provincial and federal government trade accusations without offering any solutions.

But a careful study of these cash injections shows that the urban development of the city on a modern scientific model is still an unfulfilled dream. The recurring phenomenon every monsoon demands a long-term plan without which urban flooding will go nowhere. The Sindh government can learn from how the work in progress in Lahore is protecting people from the adverse effects of the rainy season, and implement a drainage system that can handle a large volume of water. Everything else is either stop-gap or utterly meaningless.