City of lights… only during the day

Published: July 13, 2011
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At 5 pm at the peak of summer, I was rather upset to see all the street lights near Karsaz and on Sharah-e-Faisal shining merrily as far as the eye could see. PHOTO: PPI

Not once, not twice… but a dozen times I have witnessed the city of Karachi being true to its name. The City of Lights, as it was called, has of late seen more than its fair share of darkness. But wait… there have been instances of the city being alight, trying hard to regain its past glory. It’s quite a pity that that has happened only during the day when it is least needed.

At 5 pm at the peak of summer, I was rather upset to see all the street lights near Karsaz and on Sharah-e-Faisal shining merrily as far as the eye could see. With the sun shining brightly and the sky clear, it seemed as if the lights were trying hard to give the sunlight some competition but were failing miserably.  And ironically, these same lights are often not working at night, when they’re most required. So at say 10 pm you can pretty much expect these lights to not be working. It seems as if the department responsible for this is following a different time zone altogether — Canada’s perhaps?

The masses are constantly encouraged to switch off extra lights and save electricity in every way they can to help conserve our resources for the future. Public service messages instruct us to set the temperature of our air conditioners at 26 degrees Celsius because they consume less energy then. We are told to ensure that all power switches from microwaves to cell-phones are switched off when not in use.

Why?

So the government can waste all of it only because the people responsible are too lazy?

We complain about being a poor country and not having enough resources, we complain about the incessant load shedding, the KESC complains about not being supplied with enough gas, and yet we have enough energy to waste.

Instances such as these make me feel that the problem does not lie with the lack of resources but the lack of rational and responsible people to handle the resources that this country has been blessed with. If we continue wasting away what we have because of negligence and irresponsibility, then our future will be just like what these street lights are at night — dark.

Sumaiyya Lakhani

Sumaiya Lakhani

A sub editor for the Sunday pages of The Express Tribune.

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.

  • http://digitaljesus.wordpress.com Anthony Permal

    Well written and I agree completely. I once met a senior KESC official who said the organisation receives only 30% of the billed amounts to industries and individuals. Which means 70% is stolen.

    Take one round with a focused eye down Boulton Market, Bandar Road, Burns Road, LightHouse (ironic name, today), Bohri Bazaar and see the thousands of shops that have taken ‘kundda’.

    Take another round down certain lanes in Federal C Area, Gulshan, and other places and see the hundreds of apartments who do the same.

    In fact, my sister’s maid openly told us that in her community’s slum area in Soldier Bazaar which houses over 5,000 people, NO one has paid any bill for KESC in over 8 years.

    Hypocrisy reeks from every pore of every Pakistani, me included.Recommend

  • My Name is Khan

    There is a saying that goes “We get the government we deserve.” If we don’t care, then we will get a government that does not care for us. If we defend the armed forces and intelligence agencies while they steal from our budget and destroy our country, then they will be free to do so. Recommend

  • Farooq Monga

    This is the easiest thing to do give all the blame to the govt. Being a responsible citizen did you try to inform the concerned person about the waste of electricity? Common dont try to mislead!Recommend