Karachi local elections are expected to be held on 15 Jan . Karachi is Pakistan’s most populous city and major urban, industrial, financial and political center. Since 1980’s, the city is facing from serious problems like law and order, crime, water issues, lack of infrastructure and many other social, economic and political issues for a longtime and city which is financial capital of Pakistan and plays important role in economic, financial and industrial development of the country is turning into a place of chaos and crime.
Karachi local elections: Major Problems of Karachi
The city of Karachi is facing many kinds of social and administrative issues. Because of this Karachi, a financial, industrial and port city to become a havoc place. Here are some major problems of Karachi:
Crime is major issue of Karachi which is increasing day by day and many citizens lost their cars, bikes, money and jewelry. Criminals killed and injured many citizens while resistance during robbery, theft and street crime. Over 56,000 crime incidents were reported in just 2022. Incompetency of Sindh government and police who are responsible for making sure of safety of the citizens.
Water mafia is causing Karachi citizens to suffer from water shortages, lack of clean and drinkable water supply to homes and many more. Many citizens are forced to buy expensive water tankers. Water mafia who is under the support of Sindh government and its departments has illegal monopoly over city’s drinking water. Karachi receives 550 million gallons of water against 1.1 billion gallons of demand per day. Delhi having same population as Karachi has demand of 1.15 billion gallons and supply of 935 million gallons per day. Drinking water condition is also very worse in the city as 92-93% of drinking water is contaminated. Water pollution is causing kidney diseases and diarrhea.
Karachi is suffering from worst kind of air, water, noise and land pollution. Roads, streets, parks and beaches of Karachi are covered with tons of trash. Excessive traffic Industrial chimneys emitting smoke are causing air pollution in the city. Water streams are also polluted with garbage, sewage lines and industrial waste supply lines. Hazardous Air Quality of the city is causing Karachi to be most polluted city in the World. Wiping out of green spaces and forest area to build housing societies is also causing air pollution to skyrocket, smog in winters and extreme heat waves in summers causing diseases and deaths to hundreds of citizens.
Lack of Urban planning:
Karachi being the most populous city of Pakistan lacks efficient urban planning. Because of land mafia, illegal constructions and turning green areas into residential and commercial zones. These illegal constructions are turning Karachi into a concrete jungle. City is suffering from worst kinds of environmental issues like water scarcity, air and water pollution and heatwaves because of lack of green spaces. Instead of expanding they city vertically (creating high rise buildings etc.), city has expanded horizontally from East to West and to North. Corrupt officials and workers of Building Control Authority of Sindh Government legalized many illegal buildings making life of residents of those buildings in a risk. China cutting(illegal way to slice plots from public places and then selling them) of public places like parks, water stream banks and roads by MQM and PPP also spoiled beauty of Karachi.
Lack of Public Transport:
Karachi lacks a proper public transport network like Metro Train, Bus rapid transit system which is a need of time for a big city like Karachi. Many Largest cities and major urban centers in the World has efficient Metro and Bus rapid transit systems like New York, Shanghai, Tokyo, Beijing, Moscow, Berlin, Istanbul, Delhi, Mumbai and Dubai etc. These cities rapid systems/metros have annual ridership of hundreds of millions of passengers. Karachi on the other hand is still far behind many urban centers in Mass transit network. Karachi had a suburban rail network called Karachi circular railway built in 1964 according to Karachi Master plan but instead of upgrading it government closed circular railway in 1999. About 7,650 structures including 4,653 houses were built on 67 Acres out of 360 Acres land of KCR since then.
Recently Sindh Government inaugurated People’s Bus Service of 240 buses after 14 long years of People’s Party rule over Karachi and Sindh. This project is nothing compared to high needs and demands of Public transport network for Karachi citizens. Cities comparable to Karachi in population like Mumbai and New York has far dense network of 3,500 and 5,725 Buses respectively.
Karachi local elections: Causes of Problems in Karachi:
Current problems faced by Karachi are not natural but human made . Major cause of problems in Karachi are:
Major cause of Karachi’s problems is that Census data of Karachi is always incorrect. Karachi is estimated to have 25 to 30 million people but shown as 16 million. This will not only cause increase in National Assembly and Provincial Assembly seats, but also cause increase in water share quota, government jobs, revenue and budget share for the city. This scenario is not suitable for Sindh’s ruling PPP. Muttahida Qaumi Movement also raised this issue most of the times but their motive was political not practical.
Many cities in the World not only have majority of their Subdivision’s or Country’s population. For Example: New York city has 44% of New York State’s population. Chicago metropolitan area accounts for 65% of Illinois population and Seoul metro area, has almost half of the Korea’s population.
People’s Party’s Karachi Enmity:
major cause of problems in Karachi is People’s Party’s enmity and hatred for Karachi. Karachi contributes almost 90% of Sindh Government’s revenue but gets no benefit by provincial government in return. This is because Karachi has never supported or gave mandate to People’s party since 1970. Except for Lyari no part of Karachi ever voted for People’s Party. PPP gets majority by wining in interior Sindh and never do any thing for Karachi.
Since passing of 18th amendment of the constitution of Pakistan Federal government cannot do any thing to rescue Karachi. The city is on the mercy of provincial government.
In 2022 Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf government announced to work on developing Bundal and Buddo Islands South-East near coastline of Karachi. Initiative of project was to attract foreign investments and reducing load of population the city. PPP Sindh government rejected and blocked this mega project. Sindh government later declared those islands “protected place”.
K-4, a major Water supply project for Karachi which can reduce water scarcity of the city. This major project is also pending just because of Stubbornness of PPP government. This major project is pending for more than 14 years.
Muttahida Qaumi Movement’s Blackmailing politics:
MQM has been major dominant political party of Karachi city. Since its formation in 1985, MQM won most no of seats of Karachi in National, Provincial and Local elections. MQM always did politics on issues of Karachi and never took any solid measures to solve issues of Karachi. MQM has been coalition partners of PML-N, PPP, PML-Q and PTI but never did anything for the betterment of Karachi. They always used deprivations of Karachi for their politics and always did blackmailing politics.
MQM introduced extortion in the city and started target killings. MQM created a long standing violence and unrest in the city along with PPP and ANP. This led to killings of thousands of innocent citizens and shown worse image of Nation’s largest city and financial capital. MQM also became allies with PPP in Sindh government on different occasions. Still MQM didn’t do any thing for the betterment for Karachi and its citizens.