‘Katchi abadis are hubs for crime, disease’

Published: March 28, 2012
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Experts at the conference said that with the rise in migration from rural areas, the number of Katchi abadis in Karachi will also go up. PHOTO: FILE

Experts at the conference said that with the rise in migration from rural areas, the number of Katchi abadis in Karachi will also go up. PHOTO: FILE

KARACHI: Mass migration from rural areas to cities will lead to an increase in katchi abadis or unplanned settlements in all of Pakistan’s cities, warned Karachi’s former nazim Mustafa Kamal.

He and other experts discussed the existing housing crisis at a conference recently held, said a press release on Tuesday. The conference was attended by people from the Association of Builders and Developers, House Building Finance Company Ltd, Pakistan Housing Authority, Grand Leisure Corporation, Lyari Development Authority, NESPAK, Institute of Architects Pakistan among others.

The objective of the conference was to highlight the importance of the housing construction sector for the development of the economy.

Kamal said that the government must face this reality of mass migration and come up with a workable policy for housing that safeguards the lives and properties of urban residents.  Katchi abadis are centres for crime, for illegal water and electricity connections and the spread of illness and disease due to open sewage, he added.

Former adviser and economist Dr Kaiser Bengali commented on how new housing schemes will not meet the needs of the struggling low-income population of the country. The best way to address the housing shortage is to make more serviced land available for the homeless, and help them build their own homes. He said that the existing housing stock for the upper-middle class group was unoccupied and that new housing schemes were being driven by the motivations and objectives of speculators.

Dr Bengali spoke on a panel with the title, “New Housing Schemes and Planned Cities”.  Following him, Dr Tasneem Siddiqui, the CEO of the non-profit agency Saiban, said that that the best way to achieve housing for the low-income group is to allow them to build incrementally on a self-help basis.

The topic of housing finance was handled by Azhar Jaffri, the MD of the House Building Finance Company Ltd, and bankers from Meezan Bank Ltd and Bank Islami.  SM Muneer, the President of the Pakistan India Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said that housing finance in India is provided to the public by five different groups of institutions namely: scheduled commercial banks, scheduled co-operative banks, agricultural and rural development banks, housing finance companies, state-level apex cooperative housing and finance societies. The housing finance sector in India has experienced an unprecedented change in its structure from its formulation stage. Indian housing finance has moved from the stages of being a solely government provided service during the 1970s to a competitive sector with more than 45 housing finance entities providing loans worth more than Indian Rs781 billion to home buyers across India.

Abrar Ameen, the chairman of the Association of Mortgage Bankers of Pakistan, informed the gathering that his association was working with the housing and infrastructure department of the State Bank of Pakistan to create development funds for housing. Commercial banks were almost non-existent in mortgage financing, and only 5,000 units were financed by commercial banks in all of Pakistan in 2011.

Published in The Express Tribune, March 28th, 2012.

 

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Reader Comments (6)

  • Maulana tharra
    Mar 28, 2012 - 11:32AM

    “Mass migration from rural areas to cities will lead to an increase in katchi abadis or unplanned settlements in all of Pakistan’s cities, warned Karachi’s former nazim Mustafa Kamal.”

    But Biharis and imported “Pakistnis” from other parts of India are cleansed, steralized and sanitized!
    Every Tom, Dick and Harry has birth right on Pakistan except for the “natives.”

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  • Nj
    Mar 28, 2012 - 12:35PM

    The government and Pakistani people at large need to get over this inherent (and growing) anti-poor bias. Katchi Abadis are communities just like the DHA, PECHS or any other housing schemes, with financial disparity being the only distinction. To say that they are hubs for crime is horrible and heartless, to say that they are hubs for disease only further highlights government & elitist incapacity and nonchalance to get their heads out of their behinds. Headlines like these only make the situation worse and water the seeds of bias. Needless to say, housing is one of Pakistans biggest problems today and there is close to nothing being done about it.

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  • Aditya Randhawa
    Mar 28, 2012 - 3:53PM

    @Maulana tharra:
    “Every Tom, Dick and Harry has birth right on Pakistan except for the “natives.”” Every Muslim of Indian subcontinent has birth right to live in Pakistan.As Pakistan was created in the name of Islam.

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  • fus
    Mar 28, 2012 - 10:02PM

    Why is it so hard to accept the facts? First go and check these Kutchi Abadis. You cannot find a solution unless you accept that there is a problem. Many of these Katchi Abadis are illegal and have poor facilities. No clean water or sewerage. Infact some of these are next to sewerage Nalas. So what do you expect, healthy atmosphere? Due to poverty and police corruption you easily find gambling and drug dens there.
    Why is it hard for people to understand that no one is stopping anyone from coming to Karachi, people of Karachi have big hearts, but you don’t question govt. when they don’t provide development funds to this city or prepare for the huge influx of people that is taking place? Why does everyone choose Karachi, if it is such a bad place, and no other major cities? Because Karachi still brings hope to everyone, it deserves to have a better infrastructure to provide decent living for all its people. Compare to other big cities development fund spent per capita is very less. Local govt. is the only option for a mega city like Karachi.

    @Maulana tharra, for you childish comment,
    But Biharis and imported “Pakistanis” from other parts of India are cleansed, sterilized and sanitized!

    These biharis and imported Pakistanis made diamond out of dirt, called Karachi, to provide revenue for this thankless Country and its people like you, who run to it in time of despair. So be thankful to these biharis and imported people, who have worked selflessly for this country without getting much in return. Btw for your information even Biharis and so called Pakistanis also live in these Katchi Abadis so it is not for any specific race, ethnicity or religion, but I as I mentioned the reason before it would be hard for a racist person like you to grasp. Recommend

  • Maulana Tharra
    Mar 28, 2012 - 10:51PM

    @fus:
    Oh.. I misread Mr. Kamal’s statement.
    Of course he was referring to Bombay, Calcutta, New Delhi and migration from rural areas of Utter Pardesh, Bengal, Assam, Andhra, Tamil Nadu, etc when he said “mass migration from rural areas…”
    Silly me!!!

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  • fus
    Mar 29, 2012 - 12:24AM

    Just call spade a spade, and don’t run away from the facts. First go and check the Katchi Abadis. There is Mass migration from Rural ares, is that a lie also, that is a fact. What was wrong in his statements? Karachi needs development to support the influx, since existing infrstruture is cannot bear the additional burden. But again people like you make arguements for the sake of it, so keep on doing it…in your hatred

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