Ahead of the local government elections scheduled for November 27, the Sindh government has created a new district of Korangi and also made changes in the boundaries of four other districts.
This brings the total number of districts in the city to six — Malir, South, East, West, Central and Korangi. According to a notification issued by the revenue department, the newly created district will comprise four sub-divisions and talukas of Model Colony, Kalaboard, Saudabad, Khokarapar, Shah Faisal Colony, Drigh Road, Landhi and Sharfi Goth.
The changes in the boundaries can have a significant impact on the vote bank of various political parties when they face each other in the upcoming local government polls. Nevertheless, the ruling Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) insisted that it took on board all the main stakeholders in the area before creating the new district of Korangi. The residents and elected representatives from this constituency denied, however, having knowledge of this.
Apart from carving out a new district, the notification also made significant changes in the boundaries of four districts, except Central. After Tuesday’s notification, the areas that fall under district South now include: Saddar, DHA Phase I and Phase II, Arambagh, Civil Lines, Garden, Lyari, Harbour and Mauripur. Earlier, Harbour and Mauripur were part of district West.
District East has also been expanded to include Ferozabad, Jamshed Quarters, Gulshan-e-Iqbal and Gulzar-e- Hijri Scheme 33. The areas between DHA Phase I and Baloch Colony Road up to KPT Bridge, i.e. Baloch Colony, Akthar Colony and Manzoor Colony, were earlier part of district South but, after the recent delimitation, these areas have now been included in district East.
The notification further said that Malir district now includes Bin Qasim, Ibrahim Hyderi, Shah Mureed, Gadap, Airport and Murad Memon sub-divisions. AlAsif Square, Sachal Goth, and New Sabzi Mandi, which were earlier part of district Malir, have now been added in the domain of district East. Meanwhile, district West now comprises Orangi, Mominabad, SITE, Baldia and Manghopir sub-divisions. The neighbourhoods of Liaqutabad, Gulberg, Nazimabad, North Nazimabad and New Karachi have now been made part of district Central.
The union councils that have been shifted from district West to South include: Bhutta village, Sultanabad, Keamari, Baba Bhit, Machar Colony, Mauripur and Gabo pat, excluding Deh Gond Pas. According to the proposal prepared by commissioner Shoaib Siddiqui, the people of these union councils have easier access to district South that is why this decision was made.
The 18 defunct towns of Karachi have been equally distributed into these six districts, explained Nisar Ahmed Khuhro, a senior minister in the Sindh government. “No one should raise any objections,” he said. “Each district will comprise three defunct towns and there will now be six municipal corporations in the city.” Khuhro insisted there are no political motives behind the creation of Korangi district and it was purely an administrative decision.
Earlier, the Sindh government had divided Thatta into two districts, making Sujawal a separate district. Recently, PPP leaders have also proposed dividing Hyderabad and carving a new district out of Qasimabad. These decisions have drawn widespread criticism, especially from nationalist parties, who called it an “ethnic” division. They warned of indefinite protests if these divisions are carried through.
The Muttahida Qaumi Movement, which enjoys a majority of seats in the city, claimed that the PPP did not take it into confidence before creating a new district. “We will oppose the decision and can approach the court against it,” said MQM leader Faisal Subzwari, who is also the opposition leader in the Sindh Assembly.
The entire area of DHA from Phase I to VIII and Clifton Blocks 1 to 9 have been included in district South.
Published in The Express Tribune, November 6th,2013.
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