Karachi, Pakistan’s financial and industrial capital, contributing around 42 percent to the country’s GDP, needs intervention from the powerful quarters of the country in all spheres of life in general and housing and construction in particular.
Almost 55 percent of Karachi remains Kutchi Abadi and slums as mentioned, by the current Chief Justice of Pakistan, Gulzar Ahmad, remarking in an order on a recent constitutional petition, “corruption stands institutionalized in Karachi.”
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All data on constructed houses and development shows that two cities, namely, Karachi and Hyderabad are the pivotal urban centers, where the majority of the massive construction projects have taken place in the past 60-70 years.
Also, the highest percentage of cement and concrete construction in residential areas remains in these two cities.
Karachi stands out amongst other big cities with the largest concentration and percentage of properly built housing using concrete.
Although Punjab remains the biggest province in terms of population yet, Sindh statistically appears to have more properly constructed housing units owing to a higher concentration of construction projects in Karachi.
The city can aptly be termed as the center for all kinds of construction and economic activity in the country. On the flip side, though, Karachi faces widespread corruption, irregularities, and abuse of authority, which have plagued its business, governance, and administrative landscape.
Given the significance of Karachi in the country’s economic well-being, one would assume that the city would get the utmost attention from the country’s powers, including the federal government, the Supreme Court, and establishment but, the facts are quite contrary to this assumption.
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In the last 30-40 years, from the 1970s onwards, it has faced a situation of extreme neglect from powerful quarters of the country. Massive corruption, mismanagement, and authority abuse have hampered economic activity and proven to be predicaments that the powers that be have failed to address.
Builders, developers, and business community people that GVS has spoken to suggest that the Federal Government, Supreme Court, and the establishment need to take a greater interest in the economic affairs of the city of Karachi as the city’s financial health have a ripple effect over the whole country’s economic well-being.
Furthermore, they have argued that the city needs greater scrutiny as to its internal happenings from these institutions, which was also observed as mentioned before by the current Chief Justice of Pakistan in a recent order in a constitutional petition.
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In addition, the print and electronic media in the country need to devote more time, attention, and focus on Karachi, high- lighting, and bringing its issues to light.