The gravity of the state of uncleanliness in Karachi can be gauged from the fact that Prime Minister Imran Khan has himself taken serious notice of the situation prevailing in the city for long. The Prime Minister has constituted a high-level committee to work out plans to address issues being faced by the residents of the city, saying that “the future of Pakistan is linked with Karachi as its financial hub”. This reiteration of the significance of the metropolis by the Prime Minister shows that he wants to see results. This also shows that the media’s efforts in projecting the neglect of Karachi have started to bear fruit. Those who have been maintaining that not being heard is no reason for silence have been proven right.
The committee will be headed by Law Minister Dr Frogh Naseem of the MQM. Federal Ministers Ali Zaidi and Makhdoom Khusro Bakhtiar as well as FWO chief Major General Inam Haider Malik will be the members of the committee. The committee has been asked to suggest measures for improvement of public services in the city.
The meeting, presided over by the Prime Minister, deliberated upon issues like cleanliness, sewerage, supply of drinking water and a mass transit system for the city. The PM expressed concern over the problems being faced by the people in Karachi, and assured the residents that the federal government would do its best for the solution of the problems. In the past few days, three petitions have been filed in the Sindh High Court asking it to tell the relevant authorities to improve the fast deteriorating civic situation in the city. Even then the respondents failed to behave like ‘reasonable men’.
The Prime Minister has acted well in time because civic infrastructure and services in Karachi have reached near-total collapse. Most roads have become very difficult to drive on or even walk safely due to gutter overflows. The sewerage system has almost collapsed. The city is dotted with heaps of garbage. The biggest city of the country looks like a big chunk of a slum, and the situation is only deteriorating.
Published in The Express Tribune, September 10th, 2019.