| Welcome to Global Village Space

Wednesday, February 14, 2024

Its official: Karachi is the world’s worst city to drive in

News Analysis |

Once the city of lights; now one of the world’s most stressful cities to live in. This is how one can summarize the journey of Karachi city in the last five decades. It would not be mind-boggling news for the citizens that Karachi has landed at 99th position in the list of world’s 100 most stressful cities to live in. In fact their response would probably be “wow I would have thought we would be higher on the stressed out cities!”

Now, a study conducted by a German company has concluded that Karachi is the worst city in the world to drive in.

But yes, Kolkata topping the list, could bring a sigh of short-lived relief, because in another similar study conducted in UK, Karachi is categorized among the world most stressful cities to live in, falling just 7 points behind Baghdad.

In the study, cities were gauged on various aspects including the cost of fuel incurred by the citizens, traffic congestion, hours of delay, rush hours, the option of transportation, average speed, level of air pollution, accidents and fatalities.

Read more: Young Karachiites pledge to save electricity and make their city clean

 What do the statistics say?

The study points towards the fact that the debilitating infrastructure of the city is the main reason for these bleak statistics.

The absence and maintenance of infrastructure add to the plight of commuters each day. The fear of delays has forced the people to alter their life routines extensively. Around 35% of the population living in Karachi is suffering from different forms of mental illnesses and depression due to this alteration in routines.

The disintegration and crumbling infrastructure is not the tale of one night, but continuous failures by successive governments. Underrepresentation of the city’s demographics in the census of 1998 and 2017, drives to the fact that a misleading analysis led to the less than actual required allocation of resources to the developmental needs of the city.

Political feuds, unplanned urbanization and lack of employment opportunities in other parts of Pakistan have resulted in massive migration to Karachi which has over-stretched the city’s limited resources. No work is being done to organize efficient and clean public transport infrastructure for the city’s population. Instead to the extent there is any focus it is on road provision and cheaper private transport which creates even more chaos on the roads.

India’s two most populous cities Delhi and Mumbai have a population of 25 million and 21 million respectively, and the population of Delhi is expected to be 36 million by 2030 becoming the world’s most populous city.

Read more: Is Karachi the sixth worst city to live in?

But India is preparing beforehand for this population boom, this year, it is planning to spend 3.96 trillion rupees to overhaul its transport infrastructure, where railways and roads will be upgraded using the world’s latest technology.

Introducing solar-powered bullet trains and making roads with recycled plastic bottles are some ways, India is using to reduce its cost incurred on the infrastructural development.

Similarly, 52.4% of the population of Singapore, relies upon public transport for their daily transportation needs.

Prospective Development Projects in Karachi

With the 2018 general elections just around the corner, they have forced the provincial government to take measures to improve the plight of the people of Karachi.

Karachi Circular railways worth Rs 27,6 million Blue Line Rapid Bus Project costing Rs 25 billion are given a green-signal by the Sindh Minister, Syed Murad Ali Shah, while federally owned Green Line Bus Project costing Rs 24.6 million is already under construction.

While, the Karachi Circular Railway is expected to be functioning by December this year, the other two projects will taking another 3 years before they would be operational.

At this stage, prior to the functioning of either transit project, alleviation of the traffic problem will only remain a dream.

Read more: Karachi Jalsa is a Game Changer?

The projects are expected to help resolve the issue of availability of public transport . They do not tackle the need for better pavement and construction of roads necessary for the smooth flow of traffic.