At around the same time last year, as 2006 neared its end, authors at KMB proposed 5 new Year Resolutions that the city officials could adopt to improve Karachi. Now, after a whole year, it’s time to assess how successful the government has been.
Resolution 1: A better Transportation System
Transportation in Karachi remains a bitter sweet tale. While on the one hand projects like the Signal Free Corridor-I has made life easy for a number of commuters and Corridor-II, the Parking Plaza, and the Invisible CNG busses promise to do the same in the future, on the other hand, collapse of the newly inaugurated Sher Shah Bridge on September 1 put the infrastructure development activities by the government under serious threat. Rains in June also resulted in Massive Traffic Jams all over the city. Critics also voiced their concern on the utility of road infrastructure development with little focus on social and environmental considerations.
When discussing the role of government in improving the transportation, the authours at KMB also realized that it is not only infrastructure development that will make a difference, but what is needed is attitudinal development of the drivers themselves to make the system better.
Resolution 2: Be serious about health issues
This year again we saw an outbreak of the Dengue Virus. Apart from that, we don’t see much effort going into facilitating health care provision to the poor. Government dispensaries, it was reported on a private news channel, though existent are non operational. Similarly, we see no implementation or monitoring of health standards in restaurants or roadside hotels.
Resolution 3: Commitment to complete projects
As pointed earlier, Corridor-I was completed this February, and work on Corridor-II is continuing at a good pace. The southbound section of Lyari Expressway, that was scheduled to be completed by end of 2007still shows no signs of opening any time soon. The project was started in 2002. A list of projects completed by the city government can be seen here.
Resolution 4: Bring Down The Crime Rate
According to the CPLC website, mobile theft has increased since last year. There has not been any substantial decrease in other crimes either. What we did witness however this year was state terrorism in the form of days like May 11th and October 18th when political workers hijacked the city for vested interests.
Dawn also reports that the crime rate surged after the government imposed emergency.
Resolution 5: A greener Karachi. A cleaner Karachii
This year witnessed the opening of more parks like the Kothari and Bagh Ibn e Qasim but there were also more cases of trees being cut.
The air and water pollution levels in Karachi have crossed national and international environment quality standards posing serious threat to the lives of over 14 million residents of the city yet the government still hasn’t taken any notice.
One commendable measure taken by the government was the Plastic Bag Ban which sadly has been all but forgotten over time and plastic bags are being used rampantly.
Expecting the government to solve all the above resolutions yet unfulfilled is our right as a citizen, but lets include some of these in our personal resolutions this year to make a difference on an individual scale.