By : Syed Muhammad Kashshaf
The biggest and the most diverse city of Pakistan, have been facing various problems for a long time. Gas supply, water scarcity, and power shortages are some of the major issues and the whole city seems to be trapped under the detrimental impacts of such life-threatening problems. Not only have these issues engulfed Pakistan’s economic hub, but they have also pulled the helpless people of Karachi into a quandary.
People who were born and brought up in Karachi have this sense of deprivation which has never been properly understood by politicians. We have seen the increase in the vote bank of PTI and Karachiites have now greatly started to hope for change from PTI, despite the fact that people here are not owning PTI as their own because of their lack of skills in political networking, Public relations and properly channelizing human resource.
PTI will need to actively work here on one particular sentiment (along with Water, electricity, shelter , transport etc) which is *Discrimination on the basis on ethnicity.* The people here feel highly discriminated when the Government jobs for people having Karachi’s domicile is far lesser and restricted whereas for any other domicile (Rural sindh,Punjab) jobs are accepted easily in Karachi. Large number of people here not only have always been deprived from basic life necessities but also identity. They have faced difficulties in making their Nation Identity Card.
Karachi, despite generating 60 percent of the federal revenue doesn’t get enough of the federal resources. PTI sincerely needs to cater to this sentiment because this discrimination is a prevailing reason that the shift in the vote bank took a while when Mqm ruled Karachi for more than three decades . Now when people have given their mandate to PTI, they should reinforce public trust.
Traffic jams in the morning and evening rush hours continue to torment the citizens as authorities have failed to resolve the problem despite the construction of many flyovers, underpasses and signal-free roads .The main reason behind these traffic jams are encroachments along roadsides. Traffic jams are not a new problem for Karachiites as the citizens have been facing the situation for the last two decades . A long-term planning with a significant increase in the road budget is mandatory to overcome traffic jams of the city.
The deteriorating public transport in the most populous city of Pakistan has also added fuel to the fire. The metro and green bus projects are still yet to be completed. As a result, traffic jams have gotten even worse. People would not have faced this issue had there been a good and decent public transport system.
It has been highlighted time and again about particular members of the government taking protocols which causes road blocks and traffic .If such is not the case it should be clarified that protocol is not being taken. If however it is being taken the reasons to do so should be highlighted so the citizens are aware of why they are being inconvenienced.
Illegal settlements and land grabbing must be eradicated from Karachi. Land mafias with political support continue to be a threat. The authorities concerned should root such mafias out from the soil of the city of lights.
With concentrated population and increased economic activities came the problem of waste. Karachi is producing about ten thousand tons of waste a day , however it doesn’t have enough resources for garbage collection and disposal . Once a certain place is over-populated its air is no better to live. The air quality in Karachi is unhealthy and it has been rated the seventh most affected city in air quality index of the world .
There is a need to set up Panagah’s in Karachi too, which has already been established in all across the country. Plus it should be sufficient enough to provide shelter to increasing number of people and separate space for women to ensure their comfortability. It is the need of those who come from rural areas of the country for healthcare facilities. It would have been highly appreciable if actual shelter homes such as those set up in Peshawar were also set up here in Karachi as poor people can be seen sleeping outside in cold weather.
The provincial institutions does not seem effective when it comes to resolving issues of the city when we talk about crime and law enforcement which is essential to curb down gang violence, robberies, human trafficking, drug wars, kidnappings, murder and terrorism. The unavailability of fire brigades and ambulances are another major problems that has not been given enough attention.
The rift between federal and provincial government is not a healthy sign for the state and it will definitely not help to resolve administrative issues . Sindh government’s negligence is one of the biggest reason of massively mismanaged situation of the city. Only the collaboration between stakeholders can help mitigate the crisis.