Water tankers have become dreaded objects for both pedestrians and motorists in Karachi, as these vehicles account for most road accidents in the city. On Sunday, a water tanker killed a 40-year-old man and his 10-year-old daughter. Less than a fortnight ago, two young men were run over by a water tanker. In 150 road fatalities recorded between January and October last year, water tankers were involved in most of these accidents. Of the 20 deaths that occurred in October, 11 were caused by these water-carriers. In several such tragic incidents, more than one member of a family lost their lives, most of them young. In September last year, three siblings – two brothers and their teenage sister – died in one such accident. In July of the same year, a water tanker killed two brothers.
As water shortage is growing in the city, so is the number of people being crushed under the wheels of tankers. In a month, several such tragedies are reported. This is because many water tanker drivers are either irresponsible or untrained. Even cleaners have been found driving water tankers. Sometimes they are seen driving water tankers as if they are driving ambulances or fire-engines. They seem to be fond of adventure as they drive recklessly and furiously with utter contempt for traffic rules, and it is their love of furious driving that claims precious human lives. However, some motorcyclists too disregard traffic rules and drive dangerously, and in the process kill others or are killed by vehicles like water tankers. Pedestrians die in accidents involving water tankers due to furious driving as well as the lack of pedestrian bridges at crowded places.
Now around 800 water tankers are operating in the city. Unlike other heavy vehicles which are permitted to move within the city only at certain hours, water tankers are allowed on the city roads round-the-clock, and this is resulting in their increasing involvement in accidents.