Urdu Bazaar in a mess after monsoon showers
Karachi: The monsoon rains have badly affected Urdu Bazaar, one of the old city areas in Saddar Town, and as a result, ninety per cent shops were found to be closed on Wednesday.

Heaps of stinking garbage and stagnant water were seen all over Urdu Bazaar as well as other areas including Civil Hospital Karachi, Jamia Cloth Market, Federal Urdu University, Ranchor Lines, Burns Road and Sindh Secretariat.

Mumtaz, a shopkeeper at Urdu Bazaar, informed PPI that stagnant water had been present for more than 24 hours. “We face a similar situation every monsoon. There is no proper system to drain the rainwater from here,” he said.

Although sanitary workers were present in the locality, they were not doing anything to improve the situation. When asked, they informed PPI that they did not have the proper machinery to do so. “We would remove garbage from roads when the stagnant rainwater recedes. This situation is likely to improve by tomorrow if it does not rain. Only God can make it possible to remove two feet of accumulated water from this area in a single day,” they said.

Adnan, a book dealer, said that not a single customer had visited his shop since morning. “It will take a minimum of three days to neutralize the situation. The shopkeepers had a drain constructed on self-help basis three years ago which is the only source to divert the rainwater from market area to main Nullah,” he informed.

Yet another shop owner Sultan said that no serious efforts were being taken by the local administration to tackle the problem apart from some ‘cosmetic measures.’ “The shopkeepers have hired some sweepers to keep the area clean but obviously this is not enough. A project was planned in the first tenure of City District Government Karachi to get rid of the problem of rainwater but it was shelved when the tenure of the then mayor Niamautullah Khan ended,” he said.

Gul Zeb, one of a few customers in the market said, “Urdu Bazaar is the only market where second hand books are available at cheaper rates but the market is in a bad state. The government should facilitate the Urdu Bazaar traders and take precautionary measures to ensure better sanitary conditions here.”

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