Wearing a red sweater and white shoes, six-year-old Fareeha pedals her green bicycle in a newly paved street in Shah Faisal town of District Korangi. Other children walk in straight lines and make the sound of a train while playing rail gadi chuk chuk [choo choo train]. Their parents stand in one corner of the street while sharing gossip with one another and enjoying the view.
The sight is quiet unusual for Shah Faisal town, infamous for broken roads and garbage reek. The revamping of the street has brought a sigh of relief for the residents.
“We have never seen such clean streets before,” remarked an elderly resident of the area Sakeena. At evening, the residents bring chairs from their homes outside and sit together.
Earlier, according to another resident Owais, no one could have even thought of standing on the road as it was always laden with piles of garbage.
The change is a part of Mayor Wasim Akhtar’s 100-day cleanliness campaign, which endeavours to convert 400 different narrow streets of District Korangi into model roads.
While speaking to, District Municipal Corporation Korangi chairperson, Nayyar Raza said that they have selected four zones in the entire district Korangi, which include Malir, Shah Faisal, Landhi and Korangi.
In each zone, about 100 streets will be converted into model roads.
The streets, which will be selected randomly, will be cleaned first then paver blocks — with which narrow streets are constructed in London and European countries — will be placed there to ensure that water does not accumulate, explained Raza.
When asked about the broken and choked sewage lines below the streets, he said that none of these streets have any sewage lines. “The sewage lines are in the back streets known as gandi gully [dirty street],” he said, adding that the paver blocks are far more durable than the roads constructed with asphalt.
Even if for any reason the road needs to be digged out, the paver blocks can be plucked out and placed back, he said.
The supervisor of the project, Imran Anwari, said that it takes almost two days to level the streets and install paver blocks. The cost for the revamping of 400 streets, according to Raza, is around Rs2.5 million.
The contractor will be paid after six to seven months, he mentioned. He also added that if the government had provided them funds they would have changed the entire cityscape.
Alongside, about 16 model garbage dens will also be installed in the district; four in each zone, said Anwari.
The 20-feet-wide covered garbage dens will ensure that garbage is not thrown on the streets. For this purpose, an awareness campaign will also be launched, said Raza.