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Karachi infrastructure needs urgent overhauling: Altaf Shakoor

KARACHI, AUG 28 (DNA) — After unprecedented monsoon spells, the battered civic infrastructure in the megacity, Karachi, needs urgent overhauling to lessen the miseries of citizens, said Pasban Democratic Party (PDP) Chairman Altaf Shakoor here.

He said majority of the streets of Karachi are nearly unmotorable as they have developed cracks and potholes. He said the one of the busiest roads of Karachi, M A Jinnah Road from Saddar to Numaish is broken with overflowing gutter water, causing huge traffic jams. He said in fact the choked drainage system in many other neighborhoods is also yet to be repaired as the government and its civic agencies are still in deep slumber.

Altaf Shakoor said the present system of local government has failed to deliver for the megacity. He said Karachi deserves the status of a Charter City so that it could collect its local taxes to cater its needs without looking for dole outs of the provincial and federal governments.

 He said to make Karachi a charter city it needs a constitutional amendment but the political parties sitting inside the Parliament simply are not aware of the option of a Charter City. He said the charter city system is working successful in many big urban centers of the world.

Altaf Shakoor said we must look for out of the box solutions to resolve the lingering issues of Karachi. He said the pivotal step to transform the megacity is to transform its public transport system.

 He said though the Sindh government has successfully brought the People’s Bus service but it is still limited to a few localities of Karachi. He said the routes of the People’s Bus service should be extended to the who megacity, especially its suburban areas like Hawksbay and Gadap. He said industrial zones of Karachi also need a better coverage of the public transport system.

He regretted that the Orange Line RBT is still in the limbo, so is the second phase of the Green Line RBT from Numaish Chowrangi to Tower. He said the revival of the Karachi Circular Railway (KCR) is still a distant dream for the Karachiites due to its snail-paced work.

 He said the government should generously invest in public transport as it would boost the overall economic growth of the megacity. He said the private sector should also be encouraged to invest in megacity’s commuting system.

Altaf Shakoor demanded an urgent and quality repair of the broken streets of Karachi besides redesigning its drainage system. He said in fact the cause of ongoing flooding in many parts of the country is inadequate drainage system.

He said Karachi needs a system change. He said proposed charter city administration system would bring a practical system change for Karachi but it needs a bold and innovative thinking by our political parties and their leaders.

He said we can’t solve the problems of Karachi with the prevailing local government system as it has been proved failure time and again. He said we should now be open for new experiences and best governance practices by replicating the charter city model in Karachi.

He hoped that all stakeholders of Karachi including the political parties would be open to study and practically adopt the Charter City system under the ambit of our own constitution for the betterment of the megacity. =DNA

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