• 20 May 2022
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Karachi- A Lost Grandeur

Karachi- A Lost Grandeur

Being born and bred a true Karachiite, I was a bit apprehensive when I found out that I would be sharing an apartment with a Lahori when I moved to Dubai for my new job. Having heard a lot of misconceptions about them while growing up in Karachi, to say I was nervous was an understatement. Fortunately, he turned out to be one of the nicest people I’ve ever met in my life, and all my apprehensions went away.

A thing he said to me which I was somewhat hurt was he called Karachi Kachre ka Dher (City filled with trash). Now don’t get me wrong, I know there are a lot of things wrong with the city of Karachi, pollution being one of them, but to generalize an entire city based on this one sentence was quite hurtful to me personally. But when he showed me pictures of Lahore and his locality with the clean footpaths and roads, I was forced to admit that Karachi has lost its charm.

No longer “the city of lights”, there are several factors that have dampened this once great city, we would discuss the main reasons for the eventual downfall of Karachi:

  • Acute Water Shortage:

My late grandfather used to tell tales of old Karachi when it was considered one of the best cities to live in, he once told me that during the 50s and 60s the roads used to be cleaned with fresh water every night. Now, the situation is so dire with regards to the water shortage that we have to shower with minimum consumption in the daytime because mom needs to clean the dishes at night! Karachi is gripped by the “tanker mafia” curse- a network of private water tanker owners who use various means to siphon off the water provided by the Water Board and sell them to desperate citizens at high prices! The city’s water and sewerage regulatory body is either completely helpless or unwilling to listen to the pleas of its citizens to provide the required amount of water to run the country’s economic hub.

  • Lack Of Proper Disposal of Trash:

It’s not an uncommon sight to see overflowing trash spaces in every corner of the city. An ugly sight, which gives an extremely bad vibe to any outsider visiting Karachi for the first time. The lack of accountability and resources from the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation has meant that there is no proper waste management system in Pakistan’s financial hub.

  • Lack of Revenue Spending

Karachi, despite generating 60 percent of the federal revenue, hardly gets 10 percent of the federal resources. These funds are not enough to run a city of 30 million people! With the introduction of the 18th Amendment in the constitution of Pakistan, provinces have been given financial autonomy. The Peoples Party-led Sindh government, which has ruled over Karachi for the past 14 years has done nothing little to placate the people of this city.

  • Crime City

Street crime happens all over the world. Even in the world’s most developed cities like New York and London, street crime is common. But it’s not a big nuisance as it is in Karachi! The citizens live in constant fear that whenever they go out on the streets, they would be looted of their valuables. I have been mugged three times in different parts of the city. The thing that frustrates the most people is that street crime is common only in Karachi. There is a minimum street crime ratio in other major cities of Pakistan. When your life is not more precious than a smartphone, obviously a sense of hopelessness will prevail in the citizens.

  • No Public Transport

Every major city in the world has a government-funded transport system that provides relief to its citizens. Unfortunately, that cannot be said for the citizens of Karachi. The people are begging for a better public transport system because they are now fed up with the Transport mafia which runs dilapidated buses. The fact that these below-standard buses are running on the roads still surprises me. Overcrowded and filthy, these buses also pose a risk to the safety of the people as the exposed gas cylinders are just waiting to explode!

The above-mentioned problems barely scratch the surface of the problems the city of Karachi is facing, but if I write about them it’ll take a while for you guys to read it. Let’s hope that we can see a better future for our beloved city.

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