During the last weeks, a problem that remains one of the hottest topics in the media is Karachi; but again for all the wrong reasons.
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Once called the “City of Lights”, it has now become the city of “garbage”, which after heavy rains was hit by all related diseases. Hospitals, government or private full of thousands of patients in the OPD and rooms. The most painful part of all this is the “blame game” among the so-called stakeholders. For practical reasons, the city of 30 million is in complete disarray.
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It is an irony that the country’s commercial center, which should have been treated as an asset, since it provides more than 70 percent of revenue to the rest of Pakistan, has been classified as a garbage city or as a “Solid Waste Management”. It is time for the center, Sindh and the municipal governments to get out of this blame game, form an Apex Committee for Karachi and try to give some relief without political punctuation. This city is key to economic improvement, the more you give, the more you will get. You just have to stop looking at the city with a narrow vision and a skewed perspective.
Dr. Hafeez Shaikh announced on Thursday two mega projects for Karachi, worth Rs95 billion. Sounds good on paper, but if decades-old projects like Karachi Mass Transit remain only in the archive or Lyari Expressway, which took years to complete or the current Green Lane Bus had taken so long to complete or, in reality, K-like schemes IV, no doubt the two projects announced by Shaikh sb would be completed and that too on time.
Massive delays in large schemes multiply existing problems instead of solving them. Second, large schemes often resulted in massive corruption and huge commissions.
Karachi had been invaded at all levels and nobody is ready to clear the mess. The solution is there, as long as someone is ready to listen. You can find all kinds of mafias in this city, which never allowed things to calm down.
One of Karachi’s biggest problems is its massive mismanagement of the population at all levels. It is my opinion that this city of enormous potential is now unmanageable and, to some extent, uncontrollable, since no one appropriates and seems serious. The city is divided into KMC, which controls 24 percent of the city, Cantonment Board and DHA, in addition to about 30 civic agencies. After the 2013 system of local agencies, the power of local government has been reduced, which led to another debate that has more to do with politics and shared power.
The solution to Karachi required political will, “something that was missing for a long time as reflected in recent debates on television programs. Political parties, including former mayors and mayors in office, seemed more interested in blaming each other. yes instead of looking for a solution. Why no one from Cantonment Board and DHA were invited and should answer.Three classic cases in the Supreme Court showed that the higher courts were more concerned with Karachi than those who ruled the province or the city. people were looking for a short-term solution when governments failed, so the debate in Karachi remains inconclusive, a more serious discussion, decisions and implementation is required.
It is time to put the megacity under an umbrella or chain of command. Otherwise, at least a board headed by the mayor (whoever it may be) and a representative of other civic agencies, including the Cantonment Board and the DHA and Sindh government, must be part of the board.
The board should have full power to develop all civic policies related to the entire city and enforce it without bureaucratic obstacles. They must have all the financial resources and must collect all taxes related to the city. The elections of local agencies should be held for the entire city and there is nothing wrong if we have a direct election of mayor.
The entire city must have its own police and commission, where local people must be employed regardless of the cast or creed. All this required an amendment to the Local Agencies Act of 2013 and, unless the Sindh government has a reservation or problem, it would not be difficult. One hopes that DHA and the Cantonment Board will not oppose a joint board system.
There must be a strict “accountability mechanism”, since projects worth Rs. Billions are wasted or in a few pockets. There is a massive corruption from top to bottom in almost to