City’s infrastructure at mercy of scavengers


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KARACHI: The infrastructure worth billions of rupees built in Karachi with loans from international financial institutions has become treasure for drug addicts and scavengers who are out to break anything they can to extract iron to sell at junkyards.

Police, Rangers, city wardens, other law enforcement agencies and the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation (KMC) are either helpless or indifferent to the zombie-like onslaught of the drug addicts and scavengers bound on stealing every piece of metal.

These people are seen breaking sidewalls of bridges, covers of manholes as well as slab on nullahs to extract iron bars, but no one in authority tries to stop them.

After damaging the protective walls of Karachi’s overpasses, bridges, stealing sewer covers, now it’s the turn of the underpasses. In Nazimabad, three of the four huge signboards of the underpass, attributed to Mohsin Bhopali, were stolen from under the nose of the KMC and the police.

“The metal-zombies had loosened the fitting of the fourth board too, but it fell abruptly causing the death of a citizen and injuring two others,” Naimatullah Shadab, a resident of Nazimabad Gol Market said.

Area residents said that the zombie-like drug addicts have made their lives miserable for decades. These drug addicts and garbage pickers steal everything lying outside the houses – gas meters, pipes, drainage pipes, AC compressors even outers and vehicle batteries.

Now, these scavengers have taken their ‘treasure hunt’ to next level, Arshed Husain, a resident of Nazimabad No.1 told Daily City News  explaining that these people break RCC structures of urban infrastructure to extract iron bars to sell to scrap dealers .

Emboldened by lack of any check, these trash collectors break benches of parks, walls of bridges, covers of manholes, and slabs of nullahs to take out iron.

Police and Rangers on patrol see these people busy in tearing down city’s infrastructure but remain silent spectators.

Citizens said that scavengers also work in orgnaised gangs supplying stolen iron to junkyards, however, no junkshop owner has been arrested for buying stolen goods.

They urged the law enforcement agencies to stop these thieves and the junkyards from stripping the city’s infrastructure.

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