As we all are apprised of the rack and ruin brought about by the inclement monsoon season in the metropolitan city of Pakistan, Karachi. The people of Karachi have been compelled to face severe losses in the wake of rain floods engulfed approximately the whole city. Despite severe losses due to the rain that has inflicted upon the people, one positive development has been witnessed as the masses are incensed with the management and administration of Karachi and the sense of raising their voices this time for the amelioration of the shambolic city is developed. Who is held responsible for the administrative fiasco in Karachi?
The city has not seen major development at the hands of ruling parties instead of the Musharraf era in which, under the watch of Mayor Karachi Mustafa Kamal, the city was leading ahead in the whole South Asian region in terms of development and progressive work. It is not wrong to say that the development Lahore has witnessed in 2013-2014, Karachi was enjoying in 2005, as ill-luck would have it, no further up-gradation in the city has seen till to date. Unfortunately, due to incompetence and politics, the financial hub of Pakistan and one of the largest cities in the world are enjoying the serendipity of trash. Due to power politics between PPP and MQM, the city is lagging in development and the masses are enduring a very difficult situation.
Much to the sufferings of people, Karachi deserves a comprehensive and practicable solution to all the problems faced by the people. So, they can finally take a sigh of relief.
The concept of ‘Karachi a separate province’, as it is surfacing on social media and the minds of people, is utterly non-viable because it clashes the vested interest of the political parties and the administrative problems solely lie with the people not with the parties, and they will never allow laying their hands off of the hen who lay golden eggs as the slogan ‘Marso Marso Sindh Na Deso’ will start airing.
Although, if Karachi is made a separate administrative unit, to much extent, the management problems can be eradicated. But again the problem is the same.
The most viable and workable solution for the administrative fiasco in Karachi as well as for all the metropolitan cities is to develop ‘Local Body Structure’ as it is already established in major big cities of the world. For instance, London has its local body structure spearheading by mayor Sadiq khan who is responsible for all the issues occurring in the city, including sewage problems, transport, sanitation, policymaking, public safety, and water supply management.
We are still bound to the inherited ancient structure from the British and they moved to the new one local body structure in which the mayor is directly elected by the people and bestowed by a full-fledged authority to run the city’s affairs properly.
On the other hand in Pakistan, commissioners and deputy commissioners control all affairs of the city. At the time of crisis, people are blowing hot and cold to whom they go for their complaints, either go to chief ministries, the federal government, or powerless mayors. The masses should be directed to one person responsible for the city’s administration. Unfortunately, in Pakistan MNA’s are doing the work of pavement of streets and the concrete meant of roads which is highly contrary to their work as they are responsible for making laws in the national assembly.
The local body system set up in 2013 was hamstrung and completely failed as the powers were not devolved to the lower level of the institutions. We often saw the mayor of Karachi Waseem Akhtar crying for funds and imploring to the provincial government for funds to take the tasks to completion in the city. After the 18th amendment, the power and authority were given to provinces but the devolution of power to grass root level is not assured.
Karachi is plunged in a quagmire of different power holders like the Army handling some institutions, MNA’s of the ruling party, and the mayor of Karachi. As I aforementioned, who is held responsible for the failure, and people should know whose neck they are going to hold in time of crisis.
It is the need of the hour to make different administrative units to run this country efficiently and effectively as the administration becomes plain sailing. Our neighbor country India has nearly 36 administrative units, America has approximately 50 states and our brother country turkey has 81 provinces. So, by seeing these example its desideratum becomes quite evident.