- There is need to consult all stakeholders
The Karachi Transformation Plan, worth Rs 1.1 trillion, was initially announced when Prime Minister Imran Khan visited the rain-affected city in September. Mr Khan has now given a go ahead to implement the plan in a meeting where COAS Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa was present along with several federal ministers. The only information provided by the government so far is that the plan comprises more than 100 projects for Karachi that include 6000 apartments. The PM has also put on hold any anti-encroachment operation without provision of alternative housing facilities to the squatters. Further, as demanded by the construction lobby, the PM warned against delay in giving utility connections to new housing schemes.
Karachi faces several major challenges that cause suffering to the common man and discourage investors. To start with, the city faces a shortage of potable water with the result that the citizens are left at the mercy of the container mafia. The mega city faces power shortages that sometime continue for days. K-Electric acts like an albatross around Karachi’s neck. The issue of garbage remains unresolved. The abysmal shortage of trees in the big city multiplies the effects of the summer heat. The rainy season leads to the flooding of the city’s roads while low lying localities are over flooded, losing contact with the rest of the city.
The issues are interconnected which makes them very complicated. They require an understanding between the three stakeholders: the federal government which is providing the funds, the provincial government which has already announced its own KTP and claims to have made some progress in its implementation and last but not the least the representatives of Karachi citizens, including architects, city planners, doctors, lawyers and members of the business community.
More transparency is needed to avoid finger-pointing. A plan made by a few bureaucrats or technocrats in accordance with the desires of the government to provide mileage to PTI MNAs, could lead to lopsided development leaving the crucial issues faced by the Karachi citizens mostly unresolved. There is a need to have some sort of an apex committee representing the three stakeholders to advise and oversee the execution of the plan.