NA-242: A haven for land grabbers and street crime

Published: July 18, 2018
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Skyline image of Karachi city at night. PHOTO: REUTERS

Skyline image of Karachi city at night. PHOTO: REUTERS

KARACHI: Falling under District East, the NA-242 constituency is often referred to as the ‘hub of all problems’ due to lack of development work in the last 10 years.

Facing a host of civic problems for the last decade, the residents of this constituency, be they in posh or slum areas, are all victims of the menace of water shortage, load-shedding, unhygienic living conditions, lack of public transport facilities, rampant crime, dilapidated infrastructure and land grabbers having their way.

The frequent muggings in Scheme 33, Sohrab Goth, Abul Hassan Ispahani Road and other areas have made life miserable for residents. The Safoora tragedy, the gunning down of six policemen and the infamous Naqeebullah murder case has the residents fearing for their lives.

Meanwhile, China-cutting by government officials and private individuals has left the public parks and playgrounds empty and people are still not getting possession of allotted plots.

According to the latest census, the total population of this constituency is 734,410, out of whom 183,373 are registered voters. Of them, 110,111 are male voters while 73,262 are female.

The provincial constituencies of PS-99 and PS-100 fall under NA-242.

Some of the main areas of the constituency include Gadap Town’s Muhammadi Goth, Yasrib Goth, NK Industrial Area, Wazir Brohi Goth, Azeemabad Cooperative Society, Al Habib Society, Saiful Goth, Ahsanabad, Sachhal Goth, Sukhiya Goth, Godhra Society, Gajro Industrial Area, Gajro Scheme 33, Ayub Goth, Lasi Goth, Jamali Goth, Aligarh Housing Society, Meerath Cooperative Society, Scheme 33, Qayyumabad, Pioneer Town, Junejo Colony, New Sabzi Mandi, Maimar Complex Super Highway, Al Asif Square, Sohrab Goth, Jannat Gul, Gulshan Kaneez Fatima, Abbas Town, Abul Hassan Isphahani Road and other areas.

District East: An area with mind-boggling width and length

According to the residents, load-shedding and water crises are the two biggest challenges faced by the residents of this constituency.

The residents are compelled to purchase water tankers at high rates. The movement of Safoora Water Hydrant’s tankers has deteriorated almost all roads in the area.

The residents lamented that the provincial government built Cantt Road a year ago but the water tankers’ movement has spoiled it again.

Being stuck in a traffic jam is a routine problem due to the dilapidated condition of the roads where many accidents take place. With open sewage lines and garbage dumped everywhere; the area is in a shambles.

Adding to this is the burden of living in areas where street crime is on the rise, according to the residents of Gadap Town and Scheme 33. They said that the Safoora tragedy, targeted killing of six traffic police officers and Naqeebullah case all took place in Scheme 33 and at Abul Hassan Ispahani Road. Further, the illegal business of sandstones continues in connivance with the police.

The land mafia has occupied amenity and private plots on a large scale and sells land illegally, the residents shared.

To add to the residents’ worries, there are no public transport facilities in the constituency. Many buses routes have been closed compelling people to make use of costly ride-hailing services, such as qingqi’s and rickshaw’s as the last resort.

In the upcoming general elections, Muttahida Quami Movement-Pakistan’s (MQM-P) Kishwer Zehra, Pak Sarzameen Party’s (PSP) Hassan Sabir, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s (PTI) Saifur Rehman, Pakistan Peoples Party’s (PPP) Muhammad Iqbal, Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal’s (MMA) Asadullah Bhutto, Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan’s (TLP) Syed Waqas Hashmi and 19 other candidates are contesting the NA-242 seat.

PTI vs PPP: Karachi rally ground turns into battlefield

Meanwhile, MQM-P’s Masdaq Shah, PSP’s Taj Muhammad, PPP’s Shahabuddin, MMA’s Muhammad Ghayas, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz’s (PML-N) Muhammad Jameel Gul, TLP’s Muhammad Akram and 30 others are contesting the PS-99 seat.

MQM-P’s Sanaullah, MMA’s Yonus Barai, PTI’s Karim Buksh Gabol, PPP’s Taj Muhammad and PML-N’s Abdul Jabbar are the significant candidates contesting the PS-100 seat, along with 24 others contesting from different political parties or as independent candidates.

National Assembly’s NA-253 constituency and provincial assembly’s PS-118 and PS-126 were part of the current NA-242 area before the new delimitations. In the 2013 general elections, MQM’s Muzzamil Qureshi won the NA-253 seat. He has now joined PSP. MQM’s Adnan Ahmed secured victory from PS-118 and MQM’s Syed Faisal Sabzwari won from PS-126.

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