Tag Archives: misery

The tribulation of the inhabitants of Malir’s Samoo Goth | Instant News

KARACHI: Initially it was the flood in the Malir River caused by rain and now the construction of the Malir Toll Road – there seems to be no end to the suffering of the poor in Samoo Goth.

Although unprecedented rains and urban flooding in August last year brought life to a halt everywhere in Karachi, Samoo Goth, a village situated near the Malir River, was among the city’s most affected areas.

Heavy rain caused the Malir River embankment (embankment) to burst, resulting in the Samoo Goth being flooded with four to five feet of water, along with other villages and neighborhoods located on the riverbank.

The residents were left with only the clothes on their bodies while everything in their homes was lost. They returned after spending two months or more in relief camps, but the government did not provide them with any rehabilitation or relief assistance. During a visit to Samoo Goth it was observed that the floods had destroyed all farms, land and gardens, destroying the residents’ only source of livelihood: farming and clearing crops.

Chaghi, a 58 year old widow, lives with her divorced daughter and a mentally ill son. He has lived in the village since childhood. “I don’t even remember when my parents came here during my childhood. I got married and spent my whole life here, ”he said.

He mourned his house and all of its contents were lost in the flood. “My goats, wood, crockery, and everything else was washed away by the flood waters. For the poor there is no justice here. Now I only seek rehabilitation and help from God. “

Amina Malah, a former member of the village council from the area, said the homes and livelihoods of 4,000 Samoo Goths were taken because of the flood. “Most of the families in the village lost their CNIC [computerised national identity cards] during the flood. “

Shaista Rashid, another resident, said when she recalled her suffering that her stone house was located by the river. “When the river floods, the walls come down and everything is taken up by the water.” he says.

She could only save her two children, and being two months pregnant at that time, it was difficult for her to run. She said her husband had gone looking for work, so other villagers helped her move to a safe place.

Shaista was also forced to stay in the relief camp for several weeks. “When we asked about rehabilitation, the authorities told us that we could take our tents home. That’s the only aid from the government, “he said. Her husband has now set up a tent in the village, and they have made it their permanent home.

Sami Memon, a journalist covering the rural area of ​​Malir, said the dam on the river was damaged by the flood, affecting all nearby areas, villages, farms and land.

“The damage was not due to nature but due to mismanagement on the part of the government. No rehabilitation plans were developed for those affected by the floods. “

Saleem Baloch, MPA of the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) from the region, admitted that the government has provided assistance to residents during floods.

“But people then come back home to get on with their own lives. We are still working to provide them with the compensation announced by the government after the flood. “

He said, to prevent future flooding, the government was taking several big steps. “First, we will remove all encroachment to clear the flow, because some people live in the Malir River, which affects its natural flow.”

But now the residents of Samoo Goth can’t sleep because of another problem: the construction of the Malir Toll Road, which PPP chief Bilawal Bhutto Zardari calls “the largest civilian infrastructure project ever undertaken by any provincial government in Pakistan under a public-private partnership”.

The Malir Expressway will be built as a 38.5-kilometer controllable high-speed expressway to connect central Karachi to the M-9, the highway between Karachi and Hyderabad.

However, residents of Samoo Goth and about a dozen other villages fear the toll road construction will displace thousands of families when their homes and land are demolished.

Memon said the construction of the Malir Toll Road could bring more bad news. He explained that the contents of the two main rainwater channels, Sukhan and Thado, fell into the Malir River which flows into the sea.

“If a toll road disrupts the natural flow of water in a river, it could cause more damage if another flood-like situation arises in the future.”

Zahid Farooq, co-director of the Urban Resource Center, claims that the environmental impact assessment of toll road projects, which is mandatory for every major project, has not been carried out.

“No designs are shared with the local community; no resettlement plan is shared with local people who will be affected, as 1,996 people will be affected by the Malir Toll Road project. “

As Lahore did with the Ravi River, conserving water in wells and serving the land by building walls every few kilometers, the same can be done with the Malir River, he advised.

Baloch said the Sindh government never intended to make people homeless or unemployed. “Throughout our history, we have never displaced people from their homes without proper compensation or we have not downsized the employment sector,” he claims.


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Technical faults in the SSGC gas field add to Karachi’s suffering | Instant News

As if the Karachi population had not been bothered by sporadic blackouts and low gas pressure, the Southern Gas Company Sui (SSGC) on Tuesday announced a reduction in commodity supplies from the Naimat basalt field.

A statement issued by the gas company said the supply to their system had decreased. There was a technical fault at the Naimat Basal Gas Field.

SSGC said that due to technical problems, there was a shortage of 100 million cubic feet per day (mmcfd). The low pressure has made it very difficult to meet the high demand from the industrial and domestic sectors, he added.

The statement said the SSGC line package had been affected due to low pressure in Karachi, adding that areas far away in the city or at the far end of the company’s network would face the most problems in gas supply.

SSGC said efforts were being made to correct faults in the gas field, adding that the 100 mmcfd gas supply would resume from late at night and the pressure would be better.

“Efforts are being made to meet the demands of commercial and domestic users, in accordance with the government’s gas load management policy,” the statement read. “We are doing our best to meet the demands of the commercial and domestic sectors through our gas load management policies.”

City woes

The residents of Karachi regret that their life is made miserable during this winter which is very difficult to endure due to frequent cold weather which causes mercury to drop into single digits.

Areas such as Saddar, Lyari, Keamari, Lines Area, DHA, Clifton, PECHS and PIB Colony were among the worst affected parts of the city. Also affected were the Malir area, Kota Surjani, Korangi, North Nazimabad, Nazimabad, North Karachi, New Karachi, Gulshan-e-Iqbal, Safoora Chowrangi, Gulistan-e-Jauhar, Jafar-e-Tayyar Society, Saudabad, Khokhrapar, Kharadar and Martin Quarters.

“The situation in our area is already very bad,” said Salman of Nazimabad, adding that now that the gas company has officially announced a reduction in gas supply, they fear the worst. “Over the last few days we’ve been relying on takeaway because we don’t have an adequate supply of gas.”

Residents of South Regency, especially those in Saddar City and DHA, are facing the worst situation. A tea shop owner in Saddar market said he had to buy a gas cylinder

continues to make tea for his customers.

“We have commercial gas meters, but now we have to buy gas cylinders,” he complained. He gave an example, because the gas pressure is low, it takes at least two hours to boil water.

DHA residents say they have learned to deal with such situations in winter. “We have purchased an electric geyser for every bathroom in our house,” said Nuzhat, who lives near Khadda Market. He lamented that they had no gas after sunset.


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GO NZ: Te Araroa changed my life walking across New Zealand | Instant News


Laura Waters, pictured at Masons Hut, the last shack on the South Island on the Te Araroa Trail. Photo / Laura Waters

My eyes cloud as I think about the time I walked from Cape Reinga to Bluff. Here it is again, my friends must be thinking as I talk about the joys, tribulations, and amazing sights encountered during a 3000 km journey through this country. As far as a once-in-a-lifetime trip, setting foot in Te Araroa has been transformative, and its long-term effects on my life have only made it even more memorable. With the challenges of today’s world, fleeing into the wild is again a tantalizing choice.

Long-distance lines are gaining popularity around the world and in 2011 New Zealand launched its own line, a linear route connecting many pre-existing lines with several new links. In the north it winds from the west coast to the east and back again, via secluded beaches, mossy forest, the volcanic desert of Tongariro National Park, and knife-tipped ridges across the Tararua Mountains. To the south, a more direct route up and along the dramatic Southern Alps is required. About once a week, sometimes more often, the walkway intersects the city where hot showers and general stores offer the opportunity to refresh and recharge.

The Te Araroa Trail takes hikers across the country, from remote beaches in the North, to country tracks in the South.  Photo / Laura Waters
The Te Araroa Trail takes hikers across the country, from remote beaches in the North, to country tracks in the South. Photo / Laura Waters

When I left in 2013, Te Araroa was an unknown quantity, a trail that few people have managed to complete. Even though I had walked a dozen or more days under my belt, none were even more than 65 km so it was an experiment with fire on body and mind. I need it. After the closure of toxic relationships and the stress of city life, my world has been taken over by crippling anxiety and depression, the symptoms miraculously and magically disappearing within weeks of being immersed in the peace and simplicity of nature.

Then I fixed a problem I wasn’t even aware of. Walking the trails, I face countless challenges: steep, open mountains, sudden blizzards, a number of unobstructed river crossings, dubious trail signs, shoulder dislocations and, not least, loss of hiking companions. I got injured on the second day. But in overcoming this challenge I found a hitherto untapped inner intellect and courage. I learned to adapt to the environment, listen to my heart’s content and overcome fear. I found I was able to do more than I realized and I noticed how little you need to be happy – food, shelter, and a bag of belongings is enough. It is clear that life can be fun if you simplify it and eliminate the “noise.” The insights gained during those five months changed my life forever, leading to a career change and a substantial re-establishment of personal beliefs and worldviews.

Upper Travers Hut in Nelson Lakes National Park, one of the DoC huts on the Te Araroa trail.  Photo / Laura Waters
Upper Travers Hut in Nelson Lakes National Park, one of the DoC huts on the Te Araroa trail. Photo / Laura Waters

Taking the entire route will give you an experience like no other, but if you can’t spare the time or energy to wade the 3000 km, consider climbing the section, taking bite-sized stages over a long period of time. Alternatively, choose an interesting part of the cherry. The stretch from St Arnaud to Boyle Village, across from Nelson’s Lake National Park on the South Island, really evokes a few tears from me as I see its beautiful snow-capped mountains, fast-flowing rivers and vast boulder fields.

A solitary prostitute descending towards Lake Tekapo on the Te Araroa Line.  Photo / Laura Waters
A solitary prostitute descending towards Lake Tekapo on the Te Araroa Line. Photo / Laura Waters

If you’re curious to know what it’s like to have the beach all to yourself for four days, the first 100 kilometers south of Cape Reinga follows the secluded golden trail of Ninety Mile Beach. Mount Pirongia, in Waikato, marks the first true mountain range for hikers to the south and a two-day portion of its steep green mossy cliffs. Real delights are lesser-known finds such as the stunning jungle on North Island Hakarimata Road or Telford Tops on the Takitimu Trail to the south. The four-day Mavora Walkway, south of Queenstown, is also renowned for its lakes, mountains, beech forest and amazing sense of isolation.

The highlight of the trail – which incidentally doesn’t involve walking – is the 200 kilometers paddling up the Whanganui River. Kayaks and canoes can be rented at Taumarunui for a six-day paddle out to sea in Whanganui. About 200 rapids are scattered along the route, light enough for beginners to traverse yet foamy enough to get their heart racing. In some places, the river carves its way through steep-sided canyon walls dotted with ferns and gushing waterfalls, and campsites overlooking snaking water are some of the most beautiful places I have ever come across.

The Te Araroa Trail passes through the misty and misty forests of the Tararua Mountains.  Photo / Laura Waters
The Te Araroa Trail passes through the misty and misty forests of the Tararua Mountains. Photo / Laura Waters

Most of the nights on the North Island are spent in tents, but on the South Island, hikers can make use of many DoC huts on their way, especially when the weather turns challenging. Buying an inland cottage entry ticket will give you access to all the huts on the trail and while some have all the sophistication and comfort of a garden shed, others are double-layered masterpieces with cozy wood-burning stoves and five-star views.

I’m not going to cover it with sugar, walk all day, every day, need a little energy. I made it past the 10kg Whittakers in the five months it took me to complete the trail and I’m still losing weight (ah, those were the days). Te Araroa is also not for the faint of heart. The terrain is quite challenging at times and can be exposed to bad weather, but nothing compares to the feeling of being completely connected to the mainland as you peer through your flying tent as the moon rises over the remote Ahuriri River Valley. Or the shadow of a killer whale’s dorsal fin slicing through the surface of Queen Charlotte Sound as you follow the ridge trail above. Or a softer owl chirp in the dark northern forest night. Moments like magic make the trouble worth it.

Laura Waters is the author of Bewildered’s memoir, about her 3,000km hike along New Zealand.


The Te Araroa Trail stretches 3000km from Cape Reinga to Bluff and takes between 4-6 months to complete. Topographic maps, track records and further information can be downloaded from teararoa.org.nz

For more New Zealand travel ideas and inspiration, visit newzealand.com

This story was first published in the New Zealand Herald Travel on October 1

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SHC looks for viable proposals to help Karachi avoid monsoon woes | Instant News

The Sindh High Court (SHC) on Wednesday directed aid commissioners and local government secretaries to submit their comments mentioning viable proposals to combat the situation Karachi faces each rainy season.

The order comes over a petition calling for a judicial investigation into the losses suffered by townspeople during the recent monsoon rains. The applicant also asked for compensation for the people affected.

The bench in the SHC division headed by Judge Mohammad Ali Mazhar asked the aid commissioner about the progress of the post-monsoon construction work in relation to sewer systems, rainwater drains and dilapidated roads.

The court observed that the city’s sewerage system had been destroyed and several roads and roads were inundated with wastewater. The judge asked the legal officer what efforts were being made to ensure that such a situation would not arise again.

The additional aid commissioner said that several construction projects related to water & sewerage and road carpets would begin and would be completed in three to five years. He said that a road map was being drawn up to deal with such situations in the future.

The SHC directed the auxiliary commissioner to show the court some working papers on a road map for controlling such situations. The bench also directed the LG secretary to appear in court with some viable proposals for dealing with such situations in the future.

The court repeated its notification to underserved respondents, including landowning agents from the provincial and federal governments, and told them to file their comments on October 28.

Disaster zone

Nadeem A Sheikh has stated in his petition that the catastrophic rains that occur paralyze Karachi and floods, costing Pakistan around Rs449 million every day. He said the city turned into a disaster zone after two days of rain.

Sheikh said that of the 41 people who died during the rains, at least nine were electrocuted due to chaotic power lines during one of the heaviest rains Karachi has seen in decades, making life miserable in the large city of more than 20 million people.

He said the Sindh government had declared a monsoon flood emergency in the province and declared several areas hit by the disaster. The monsoon rains do not mean devastation, but the city’s unplanned growth has left it in ruins, and large-scale encroachment is the main reason for the rain flood, he added.

The Petitioner said natural storm drains and rivers had been encroached on, which then disturbed settlements and caused flooding during the rains. He regretted that during heavy rain, various emergency telephone numbers such as fire emergency 16, the commissioner’s helpline 1299 and the civil defense telephone number could not be reached.

He denounced that no other number was available in the event of an emergency, while K-Electric’s complaint number redirected to a record that continued to say that KE’s skilled staff were trying to rehabilitate the area as soon as possible.

Sheikh said the road to the National Institute of Cardiovascular Diseases, Jinnah Graduate Medical Center and the Kidney Center was more than four feet submerged in water, and under such conditions it was impossible to get the patient to any hospital.

He said the lack of a bulk drainage mechanism along the main road was the clear cause of the problem, adding that it is ironic that major corridors such as II Chundrigar Road, Sharea Faisal, Shaheed-e-Millat Road, Karsaz Road, Maulvi Tamizuddin Khan Road and Shahrah-e -Pakistan as well as many other arteries have all turned into pools.

The applicant said that the SHC needs to order the relevant authorities and departments, including all respondents, to initiate a rigorous investigation into the matter and submit their reports in court, after which further orders can be issued in relation to the question.

He said the Sindh government was responsible for compensating people affected by the recent rains according to their individual losses. He asked the court to order provincial and local governments to compensate the affected people.


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Labor woes are still unresolved in Naya Pakistan | Instant News

LAHORE: Workers working in grain procurement centers throughout Punjab continue to face mere exploitation in the hands of staff because they are paid far less money than the funds allocated by the provincial food department.

The life of Imran Bhatti, who lives in Maachiwal, and Ghulam Mustafa, residents of Chak-3 Vehari district is a sad example of how they endured very difficult working conditions. Workers with a profession, they are paid far less than what they should get as wages. They are made to live a life of hell because they have not witnessed a difference from previous years.

This is a tiring job of loading 100 kilograms of wheat bags in the hot summer, requiring a lot of physical strength. The sad part is what they get in return for work that is so difficult. Not even beans. At Rs9 per bag of labor costs, which are also on the lower side given the energy needed to do grueling work, only half or more is actually paid to them. Where do the other numbers go? This was ruthlessly seized by local representatives with the attention of the staff concerned.

“We are poor laborers. Why are financially strong people making money from our hard work, “said Aslam Shad, president of the workers’ association at Vehari. “Workers must be given a fair return on all costs.”

Like Muhammad Amanat from Bahawalpur and Muhammad Ashraf from Dunyapur in the Lodhran district, many labor contractors have been forced to quit the profession because only blue-eyed contractors are employed with the mutual agreement of food officials and assembly representatives.

A senior food department official acknowledged the problem of low payments to workers. “We cannot change the current system in the midst of the procurement campaign,” the official said on condition of anonymity. “But efforts will be made to improve the situation.”

A few years ago, there was a much better wage system and labor contractors were employed after the bidding process. This open competition-based system ensures proper payment for poor workers involved in lowering 100 kg of sacks in government procurement centers. These contractors are paid money directly by the food department for small subsistence.

However, for reasons better known to the higher-ups, this largely equitable system was abandoned and instead a committee of representatives of the local assembly was involved to make payments to workers. Now labor costs are first paid to farmers with labor costs reduced from the procurement price of wheat. This money goes into the pockets of influential local representatives and individual central department staff who find it difficult to transfer wages to the actual recipient – the worker.

The center is in charge during the mint candy drive drive of Rs2 per bag on the grounds of procurement expenditure without mentioning it in official records.

Rao Afsar Ali, a representative of local farmers and activists also echoed similar concerns about bad practices that are prevalent in the food department. Ali called such working conditions sad, saying the provincial government must take steps to bring help to the lives of poor workers.

“Punjab Food Minister Aleem Khan must pay attention to this issue,” he said. “Unfortunately, the provincial food department is only focused on achieving this year’s procurement target and many other illnesses such as the fate of workers are ignored.”


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