Karachi is a MultiAgency controlled city which has resulted political
victimisation, failed administration and above all, the havoc situation for its
citizens. There are a number of ethnic, religious and sectarian groups along
with huge criminal elements in karachi. Karachiis the seventh largesturban
area(City) in the world with the population of 15 million(But experts predict
more than 20 million).
Karachi, with its 69% share in national revenue, is a backbone for Pakistan's
economy. It also gives strategic access to Arabian sea and Indian Ocean.
Karachi's population is largely skilled and educated. More cardinally, it
possesses the huge Pakistan’s industrial hub which greatly boosts Pakistan’s
Karachi has been facing many problems including injustice, criminal elements,
Overpopulation, sewage and drainage, solid waste accumulation and criminally bad
Let’s have the comprehensive analysis of key problems of karachi;
Overpopulation: according to the 2017 Census of Pakistan, Karachi’s population
was fifteen million but the reality is quite opposite as it is more than twenty
millions, according to experts. In 1947, its population was 450,000 which is a
This is increasing the pressure on natural and civic resources and the
facilities have not been upgraded by last 3 decades.
Furthermore, the factor of Overpopulation has created the issues of portable
water access and affordable land for housing in karachi.Slums are largest in the
city. In fact, all these factors enlistkarachiin top tenworst cititesto live in
Outdated and broken civic infrastructure :By Orangi Pilot Project, 43 storm
water drains are encroached by KachiAbadis, housing development schemes and
their exit into sea is blocked by their posh housing schemes such as the DHA.
This is supposed to be addressed immediately.
Solid waste accumulation: There are merely two landfills for karachi that
produce nearly 15,000 tons of waste material per dday. Seventy percent waste
material ends up in storm water drains, clogging them, in heaps of garbage all
around the city in open dumping practice.
Criminally bad governance: virtually, there is an absence of a local government
in administering karachieffectively under the 2013 sindh local Govt act.
There has been seen blame game in Karachi’s politics which devastated the
governance system in great deal.
The PPP is violating the spirit of 18th amendment itself by not developing power
to 3rd tiers.
Administrative jurisdiction of Karachi is divided between six different
administrative bodies with continuous tussle and blame game. The ethnic politics
has divided karachi since 1980s.
Below sea-level and ecological destruction: Mangrove forests have been destroyed
by encroachments much of the DHA phase 8 and Clifton have been created by land
reclamation Chances of urban flooding and sea intrusion is very real.
A way forwad: The issue of Overpopulation can smartly be tackled if the family
planning institutes and contraceptive education are encouraged and upgraded. In
that case of Overpopulation, Hyderabad city is a prime city to pull immigrants
away from Karachi.
Women's education is supposed to be inculcated and imparted to get rid of the
Overpopulation issue and early age marriages must be criminalised.
Climatic forces:karachi is a hard hit city by climate change. A massive plan for
plantation of indigenous trees and establishment of urban forests upon state
land are way forward to overcome from the climatic forces. Along with that, land
reclamation in coastline should be criminalised and high risk existing buildings
are supposed to be vacated and converted into mangrove parks. Also, the
rehabilitation and protection of mangrove belt of coast and near karachi such as
port Qasimdemand central attention.
Karachi’s infrastructure:Recent spells of rain in Karachi have badly exposed
it’s political and administrative spheres. It urgently needs of embankment
cementing of the storm water drains. Similarly, rain water harvestation to be
utilised to provide portable water.
Transportation of karachihas badly beenswayed and impacted. Very firstly, the
KCR (karach circular railway) must be made functional at all costs. Secondly,
roads to be made more pedestrianised and cyclist friendly with separate lanes
along with ensuring lane discipline. Thirdly, karachi needs a Lahore styled bus
service to get rid of the problem of transportation .
Waste management is also one of the major issues for Karachi. There must be
ensured the ban of the use of single-use plastics such as plastic bags
throughout the metropolis like in punjab.
Along with that, it immensely demands to introduce the concept of compacting
organic household waste and kitchen forming methods which would substantially
address the food insecurity .
One judicial step of legislation of separation of waste at source and penalizing
mixing of different types of waste at source should be debated and finalised.
This is the best international practice to manage waste material.
Astonishingly, there are only two landfills for karachiand once, experts
reported one landfill for each district in 2001. Therefore, more landfills
should be built around Karachi which are ecologically friendly.
Bringing good governanceIs also a big challenge for karachi. It needs of
introducing new and improved Sundh local Government Act. This Local Government
is supposed to be empowered with directly elected Mayor on non-party basis.
In order to handle all municipal services, financial and operational autonomy to
local government must be given.
Last but not the least, to bring Karachi under one administered supreme
municipal board with representation from all town municipal bodies with highest
power in city.
In nutshell, All the approved policies must be implemented under senior
leadership to get instant and effective output.There must be theassurance of
transparency of allocated budget. The cardinal issues must be addressed firstly
on priority basis and most importantly, karachi must be depoliticised in all
Aspects. There is supposed to be harmony between the Sindh province and federal
for the public interest.
Writer: Muhammad Shafiqis a social activist.