By Farah Jamil
Karachi is a metropolitan city with dynamic people, but trouble is seemed when its marked beauty becomes a deadly serene. Many people lost their precious lives just because security warnings were taken lightly. We can’t blame or point an individual for these misfortune events as most of the time people themselves lose their conscious in a rhythm of excitement.
The atmosphere and climate of Karachi is kind of abrupt and serendipitous since the last few years, you can never expect when a scorching heat wave can turn into a gusty heavy rainfall. This is what compells people to get through the adaption process.
No doubt that the beautiful beaches attract tourists as well as locals who spend their leisure time here, but sometimes this fun tends to turn into tragedy. Drowning incidents in Karachi, especially during July and August are not uncommon but authorities always put responsibility on picnickers for ignoring warnings against swimming in rough seas instead of taking proper measures.
The recent tragic incident where twelve people drowned at Hawke’s bay in Karachi on September 10 has once again prompted a discussion of swimming safety and beach security measures in the city. Unfortunately, this incident is one of many drowning incidents that haunt the city.
The government imposed a ban under Section 144 of the Code of Civil Procedure (CPC) in May on swimming in the sea at the beaches for the next six months. However, this incident of drowning is a clear sign that more security measures are needed.
To know the most possible causes of these tragic incidents, we managed to talk to few picnickers who went to Karachi’s Paradise point to enjoy their holiday. According to the majority, Sindh government is responsible for these misfortune and unpleasant incidents. They said, “Government is responsible because of neglecting this as a minor issue, our beaches rigorously needs a proper lifeguard system”.
Many of them complained, “The police at the entrance to the beach only check visitors for drugs or weapons and do not place emphasis on swimming safety.”
It appears that just banning swimming on the beaches is not an effective solution. A proper instructions should have been made to fishermen and lifeguard and rules should be set with restricted patronage and advocacy, also weather forecasting updates should be highlighted with red alert when any ups and downs seems. There should be maximum warning posts also to caution swimmers not to go further. This inefficiency has been remarked upon by public authorities. The concerned authorities must also do something about the dumping of industrial waste into the sea.
I must say that along with the government, it is also the responsibility of the private citizen to make better choices. Visitors should be preached on prudent measures before having fun at the beaches. Especially elders should keep a vigilant eye on youngsters at the beaches.
Breaching of the swimming ban by citizens just like traffic violation – lead to tragic consequences. In the long term, effective measures by the government as well as by the citizens can work better.