‘You’re not a star until they can spell your name in Karachi’ – Humphrey Bogart
Such was the potential of Karachi that world’s top countries sought to emulate the city’s financial planning schemes. South Korea copied the city’s second ‘Five-Year Plan’ and the World Financial Centre in Seoul is designed and modeled after Karachi. Political disturbance and continued negligence to the city’s problems carved the city, as it stands today – moribund.
The diverse issues that engraved the current Karachi are mentioned below:
Karachi’s size –
Karachi is colossal enough to cause complications to any sitting government; it is almost impractical to administer it as one body. With over 24 million inhabitants living over an area of 3 527 (km-square), it is world’s seventh largest city. If the government whole-heartedly wants to solve Karachi’s problems then they need to take a step – big enough to matter. There is no chance that Karachi can be administered as one body. To control it – Karachi needs to be divided into two separate cities.
How will division solve these dilemmas? Here’s how:
One of the many dilemmas faced by Karachi is its sewage problem. Karachi that once used to be the ‘City of Lights’ has now turned into a ‘City of Sewage’. Regularly the streets are blocked due to clogged sewage lines, which were laid for the needs of a limited city space, however with the extension of populace, these lines are too congested to bear the burden and are almost unmanageable. The legislature however tackles singular sewerage problems but on weak premise causing the outcome to be defective and impractical. The lines, which are cleared and rehabilitated today, chock again after a couple of days and in this manner, the filthy water is seen standing all over and causes a number of ailments. The same water blends into the drinking water and spoils it as well. Water is an essential surviving factor, although the Government does arrange clean drinking water but it only does for the areas that scores them the most votes in and as a result most of Karachi is deprived of this luxury while the selected parts enjoy it.
To solve this severe dilemma that’s been haunting the less privileged is to divide Karachi into two separate cities. When the two cities will get an opportunity to develop their own sewage plans and provide their respected citizens with clean drinking water and furthermore unequal funding of selected Karachi will vanish. Development of rural areas would furthermore attract more investments – so much so that more housing schemes will come into being, population may even shift to such areas and thus releasing pressure on the sanitation system.
Population Distribution –
Although only limited towns in Karachi get their fair share of government financial support but two out of these eighteen towns are deprived of even the slightest rights and developments. Kemari although forms the largest coastline at Hawke’s Bay still lacks the infrastructure needed to level itself with the rest of Karachi. On the other hand Gadap has been ignored just the same. Although both of the areas have mighty potential if concentrated and worked on. They can help solve many of Karachi’s severe population problems. The government has never emphasized upon population distribution of Karachi and as a conclusion, slum areas have taken over most of Karachi. The disordered development of small houses spoil the outlook of the city, as well as creating considerably vital socio-economical problems such as pollution, illegal electric connections, water supply, congestion and ever increasing quarrels and related crimes. The authorities have failed to reclaim the locations from these people and then again packs of beggars can be found everywhere in Karachi. Their attitude is the most irritating problem. They are worthless idlers robbing good-natural people. It has become their regular practice to crowd public spots and then cheat people. The adverse effects of begging problem are noticeable in slum areas. They need jobs to provide for their families. The government has failed the idea of ‘Planned Karachi’ and almost no new heavy employment projects have commenced and small projects that are more suitable to Karachi’s financial situation cannot satisfy the bulk of unemployed. Housing towns over housing towns are being constructed in the more popular areas of Karachi without any notice and congestion and traffic is on the rise at alarming levels.
The most suitable solution is if the city is divided and Gadap and Kemari goes to each of the two proposed wings, the rapid development of these towns along with the allocation of such slum stuck population to these areas can not only reshape the cities back to their former beauty but significantly give rise to the labour forces of Gadap and Kemari, increasing their supply and thus decreasing their wage demands and ultimately attracting more investments because of cheap labour and land. It will strike down the current high unemployment rate that circles Karachi’s economical situation and further increase Karachi’s overall financial performance and the problems of congestion and uneven distribution of population will be history.
Heavy Traffic –
Some delusional people may even say that traffic suggests rapid development is taking place. They are undoubtedly wrong. What it really means is that your city can no longer support increasing traffic and it’s not functional anymore. The ever-increasing rush of heavy traffic on the roads is not only wasting people’s time but it’s also resulting in loss of human life. One day or the other, people suffer form accidents due to reckless driving trying to find a way through the burdensome traffic. Traffic jams; road quarrels, untidiness and damage of public property are also a result of this problem. The uncontrollable traffic furthermore produces massive clouds of smoke and improper turned cars fill the atmosphere with deadly smoke at hours of rush which adds to the already huge amount of pollution that’s taken Karachi into world’s most polluted cities list. The blowing of pressure horns is always there, deafening the ears. Although the government has tried solving the problem but there are only a limited number of under and overpasses a city can have.
A city as tremendously populated as Karachi, the government needs to take a comparable huge step to control the metropolis. If the city is divided into two and both the wings get the equal share of business, industrial and social activities then it is commonly assumed that the city’s traffic problems can be controlled significantly as the traffic load is divided between the two cities. The two proposed wings will be able to check the pollution levels more efficiently and the need to build expensive and eye soaring bridges and intersections may not be required anymore.
Karachi is also often subjected to terrorist activities. Bomb blasts and firings at public spots are resulting in great loss of human life. The terrorists deserve no less than capital punishment. It is the duty of the police to intensify their investigation to stop such activities. But let’s face the reality that cascades over Karachi that the law forces cannot control such a gigantic population. It’s impossible, no matter how energetic our police department is – they can just not respond to an emergency soon enough. Our police and army departments are undoubtedly the best in the world but we can’t ask them to do something miraculous every now and then, it’s absolutely absurd.
The city has to be divided. If Karachi is divided into two separate cities with their own defense mechanisms and plans, only then they can work to their full potential. The division of army cantonments and police services will surely bring a positive change in the security situation of the city. The government has to be bold enough to make such a decision.
In short we can say that problems of Karachi are innumerable, people are languishing and are aspiring for a savior who could relieve them from these worries. The savior cannot be anything else but a bill dividing Karachi into two separate cities so that no more Sabris have to die because the government was too afraid to take a big enough step.
Here’s a proposed geographical solution to all of Karachi’s problems:
The Solution –
The only possible solution to all the problems mentioned above is to segregate Karachi into two different cities, namely – let’s assume they’re called East and West Karachi. Now dividing a city into two requires commensurate division of population, economical assets, defense, educational and health instituitions along with a number of other equally important factors. Here’s what our geographical division of Karachi looks like:
Karachi currently consists of eighteen towns with most of the population centered in and round the towns of Lyari and Saddar.
East Karachi –
Commencing with the proposed East Karachi – as we’re calling it – may consist of three of eight union councils of Gadap Town. Namely – Darsanno Channo, Gadap and Murad Memon with a joint population of 150 000 people according to the 1998 census, Murad Memon being one of the wealthiest and most literate neighborhoods of Gadap Town. The remaining five union councils may be a part of West Karachi. There are over 400 villages in Gadap Town and according to The News International, 357 of these villages are deprived of electricity. Dividing the town between the two proposed cities will enhance their development. The concentrated Malir Town with 600 000 inhabitants (1998 census) may become the second sector of East Karachi that will compute well-planned residential areas and further grant a border with Jinnah International Airport, which is at a distance of almost two miles from Model Colony – one of the neighborhoods of Malir Town. The next important town to join East Karachi may be Muhammad Bin Qasim Town (300 000 population – 1998 census) that is critically a decisive industrial town with over 25 000 acres allocated to industries with the prominent Pakistan Steel Mills situated here that can be a vital source to avowal financial booms in the city. The Port Bin Qasim – part of the town can afford the inhabitants with a considerable platform for business perks and opportunities. The port, when administered properly can become one of the major ports of Asia, remodeling the current financial situation of not only Karachi but Pakistan as well. The town will produce thousands of jobs when developed to its full extent and will directly tackle Karachi’s unemployment crisis.
Jamshed Town with over 730 000 inhabitants is the most populated town of present day Karachi with it’s busiest markets and a number of urban attractions can become a part of East Karachi as well. It can provide the city with the appropriate spending fabric and also produce further thousands of jobs. Aga Khan University and hospital are also located here with many other renowned educational instituitions.
To celebrate the colonial-era Karachi – Saddar may become a part of East Karachi with its delegate and alluring architectural masterpieces and strong textile industries, which will surely associate the new East Karachi to it’s cultural background and also keeping in mind the financial needs of the fresh city. Shah Faisal Town and Landhi Town may also become part of East Karachi, the latter facilitating the city with enormous sum of industrial units with an area over 12 000 acres. The towns will provide the city with enough labour force to generate high incomes.
Three cantonments – namely Karachi, Korangi Creek, a Clifton may be added to the city to provide it with detailed security and convenient transport and residential areas. Clifton being the most developed and desirable residential and commercial area with over 330 000 inhabitants is home to Karachi’s elite class.
West Karachi –
Shifting to West Karachi now, the proposed city like East Karachi will be provided with every essential moreover exceptional plans to brighten the current situation that cascades over current day Karachi. East Karachi will consist of the remaining five Union Councils – Songal, Manghopir, Gujjro, Yusuf Goth and Maymarabad. Adding Kemari Town that includes Pakistan’s busiest Port of Karachi will provide the city with husky financial prosperity equally benefiting the locals as well as the people of the whole country if the port is administered properly to it’s full use. 430 acres of industrial land will attract investments on national and international levels and the area has high potential of successfully attracting investments because of the port. Most of Kemari and Gadap Town consist of villages, developing the areas and allocating the slum struck unprivileged to these areas will solve the conjunction as well as many other problems related to population growth as mentioned before in this article. Another town called SITE Town which has grown into the largest industrial area of current Karachi with over 2000 industrial units and 4500 acres of land allocated for industries can provide the city with gigantic employment opportunities furthermore escalating the financial bars to new heights. Baldia and Orangi Towns will provide the city with extended number of prepared residential areas that can be further improved as the city government can properly concentrate on their local problems.
Lyari being the oldest town of Karachi will help the new city to hold on to its cultural ties. The new city will also have the time and means to look into the severe terror dilemmas surrounding the deprived town and the city government with less on their plates will look into these problems more efficiently. Adding North Nazimabad and Liaquatabad will equip West Karachi with a sufficient count of standard hospitals and clinics as well as incredibly adding to the number of upper class educational instituitions. The two towns have the highest literacy rate moreover a comparatively low crime rate; they can provide the city with satisfactory skilled labor and administrators, which undoubtedly is Karachi’s substantial problem.
With the addition of Gulshan Town, West Karachi will have proper office buildings to house its officials and the town furthermore includes Karachi’s largest parks and some prestigious educational centers. Addition of New Karachi Town – a crucial industrial hub with over 800 acres of industrial area and over 690 000 people living there according to 1998 census will fulfill the city’s labour demand and at the same time providing huge industrial opportunities to the locals.
The inclusion of three major cantonments – namely Faisal, Manora and Malir will provide the much needed security and the division will surely make them more efficient. With Faisal Cantonment bordering Jinnah International Airport, the city will get direct access to the airport.
When the resources and funds are divided equally divided between East and West Karachi, the act of unequal spending of resources among the towns of Karachi will be eliminated. One town will not get all the resources meant for all of Karachi and every person will get their share whether they live in Gadap or DHA.