Bad governance, great losses... By Ali
17 September, 2012
The floods that have ravaged Pakistan for past few years, displacing millions of poor, is more a man made disaster than a natural disaster. Pakistan gets the least quantum of rains in the monsoon season, which is a regular seasonal feature in South East Asia.
Unfortunately, in spite of moderate rainfall that impacts Pakistan, the damage has been out of proportion to the intensity of rainfall. In Thailand and Malaysia the roads, bridges, dams and embankments are built according to specification to meet the heavy rains that they get. These countries are an example that precautions could have been taken to avoid large disaster in Pakistan.Monsoon rains have fallen in this region for centuries. The absence of adequate dams for storage of excess water, along with deforestation and substandard construction of infrastructure due to rampant corruption has contributed to the excessive damage, even in moderate to slightly heavy rainfall. When corrupt executives are appointed to NHA, Irrigation and Public Works Department and contracts are awarded solely on basis of kickbacks, than roads, bridges and embankments will disintegrate, even in moderate rainfall.
Billions of rupees have been disbursed to MNAs and MPAs for development works in their constituencies and similar development budgets are at the disposal of provincial government. Even in a city like Karachi, which received more then a billion rupees for improvement and only got moderate to low rains, we saw the collapse of infrastructure which points to a dismal quality of construction in the past decade. The complete absence of accountability and poor governance, have only further aggravated the situation.
In a country where the elite benefit from the miseries of poor masses what can you do? As long as corrupt bureaucrats, engineers, contractors and public representatives are not given exemplary punishment, the poor of this country will continue to suffer.
M T ALI