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Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Is Karachi the sixth worst city to live in?

News Analysis |

With a grim performance on all the aspects of human development, The Economic Intelligence Unit has unsurprisingly ranked Karachi as the sixth worst livable city of the world in the statistics released.

The answers to the question of what miraculous powers are holding the pillars of the plagued system from completely crumbling have become indispensable.

Karachi, which has been an ideal demonstration of resilience, the depressing statistics are a merciless counterattack to the progressive image sketched in the hollow statements by the legislators over the infrastructural development of the city.

The shock hasn’t come to an end for the Karachiites yet, while Ukraine ranked first in the list, Karachi has comfortably overshadowed the war-laden devastated cities of Tripoli ranking at number 7th of Libya and Damascus ranked at 10th in Syria.

While the narratives are rampant on the debacle of underdevelopment in Karachi, the Federal and Provincial governments have undoubtedly been implied as more severe than Bashar-Al Assad’s regime in Syria.

The results were concluded on the basis of the stability, infrastructure, education, healthcare, culture, and the environment. Which in other words, heralds a huge failure of the noble masters ruling the city.

It is not only the factor of administrative incompetence that has stridently surfaced, but there also comes under the microscope the crude assessment of the politically driven administrative decisions of the democratically elected party PPP.

Where Pakistan Peoples Party is in the majority, keeping all the administrative powers under the domain of their Chief Minister, Syed Murad Ali Shah, they have perhaps become the direct bearer of this developmental crash of the city. On the other hand, the share of the Federal Government in this developmental debacle is yet to be ascertained.

The woes of Karachi

With the uncontrolled boom of the population, the disproportionate influx of internal immigrants from the poverty stricken regions of Pakistan, Afghan immigrants and absence of coherent urban planning has lead to Karachi bearing on its shoulder the burden to accommodate a population of approximately 27.51 million, beyond its capacity.

Read More: Inclusive development: A new aspect of development in Pakistan

The civilian hospitals of Karachi abode to almost all of the population of Sindh, leaving a narrow space for the consumption of these facilities by the indigenous population.

The political differences between the parties’ leave the development project initiated by the preceding governments either defunct or unattended in middle as soon as conceding governments comes in power. Resultantly the huge monetary investments on these projects are squandered.

Currently there are three major hospital projects in Metroville SITE Area, other in Gulshan-e-Iqbal area and the third in Azam Basti Areas, where the former one initiated by the then Mayor Karachi, Mustufa Kamal and the latter two initiated by the PPP, are still waiting to become functioning, despite their completion years ago in 2009.

The defunct Policies

While much of the security personnel have been redirected for the security of VIPs, the civilians are left at the mercy of the criminals to be looted. The city is currently facing a shortage of 50,000 security personnel to meet the law enforcement requirements adequately.

With the mere population of 20,000 in 1970’s, the Karachi is still running on the principles of an obsolete administrative system of Commissioners, which has in fact made the system rigid and inflexible to embrace any administrative advancement in all these years. With the autocratic system instilled in administrative hierarchy, the city stretching over 3,528 Km square, the city was divided in to six District Municipal Corporations.

Local body governance system and the devolution of powers delegated to the provinces under the 18th amendment are considered an alien system, which was discarded for no reason by the currently ruling government of PPP. However, despite the Mayor elections held at the end of the preceding year, the local bodies are yet to be given powers.

It has yet to be seen whether the announced development package of Rs 25 bn for Karachi by Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi will change the destiny of Karachi or the city will continue to survive upon its inherent resilience.