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Mega City Management Karachi

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Fist need to be preserved, Especially when enemy is knocking at our door. War may not come physically but it’s other manifestations already exist. Country need to be ready.
NDMA has been tasked to clean the Nullahs after rain emergency. Yes Army is and can be called in IS role. Yet this measure is temporary in nature and one time solution. It’s hidden cost is enormous. In couple of weeks these Nullahs will get refilled with garbage as there is no organised garbage and untreated water disposal system. This has also impacted Karachi’s coast line endangering not only shipping, port operations, environment, health and above all millions of dollar fishing industry.
Post rains Karachi has been hit by calamity of floods. It does lack resources. No, it also lack honest governance. Since 1988 city started slipping in to war of interests. Karachi is not only a Mega city but in actual fact city of cities. PPP tried to administer and run it like a rural district treating the inhabitants like surfs and alien territory. Whereas Altaf s cronies also seeped in tactics of terrorism and submerged in corruption destroyed the very structure of city. PPP and MQM love embrace has been equally disastrous followed by battles to gain as much ground as possible.
Forced change in demography of city can usher it into a new chapter of infighting with serious consequences. This is an ideal and fertile ground to wage 5th generation war by enemies of Pakistan to cripple the economy of Pakistan. Hundred of sleeping cells, poring of funds to destabilise Karachi, linkages of politicians abroad are no secret. Polarity and multiplicity of ethnic concentrations make enemy’s task easy. All mega cities attract people from hinterland for better jobs and shelter. This is the phenomenon all over the world. This cannot be legally and constitutionally stopped. But it can be controlled by developing small towns in hinterlands to a level to provide jobs by creating local clusters of industry. China has done it wonderfully by providing such infrastructure facilities and incentives in smaller towns and cities. Pakistan can do it to control urban shift.
Mega cities are administered like metropolitan government. Employment of army to clean nullahs may be last resort. What is needed a permanent solution. A new political dispensation. We have examples how Mega cities are run, like Singapore, Shanghai , Moscow and even London. Indian cities are bad examples but for Delhi which changed under Awami Party.
Power has to be transferred to grass root level but under iron clad regularity regime to check any corruption. The rot is too deep and will need multiple actions to put the cart upright.
Karachi beside being industrial is also a port city. Port cities have different dynamics and have strategic connotations. Thus all the more necessary to devise new political dispensation.
Port cities are generally federal territories. Karachi, almost 50%, already is under federal control as there are almost a dozen cantonments and federal entities. But there is total disconnect in the governance and management by Provincial Government and these bodies. Lack of coordination has not only destroyed infrastructure but also made public to look after themselves, not expecting any help from government at large or the local bodies. Thus it a fertile ground for emergence of mafia, a phenomenon witnessed world over. These powerful groups not only control economic activity but also turn in to war lords in respective areas. It places the people at their mercy as administration either connive or police is too subservient to political elites. This give rise to fiefdoms within city who control everything from resources to local administration, localities and breed corruption.
This we already witnessed when every locality in Karachi erected barriers guarded by private security, virtually private gangs. Thus creating governance issue.
The governance issues in mega cities are also common.
Different countries have adopted approaches looking in to the geography , polity , administration , social structure and even ethnicity. Majority are managed as metropolitan government. Age old colonial Administrative set up in vogue cannot work. At the same time there are political problems as for as karachi is concerned.
Tokyo is one of the 43 Prefectures, city itself is divided in 26 wards with their representation in the Federal and Metropolitan structure. Similar metropolitan management exist in other Mega cities. Political, administrative, and financial meltdown down is essential to achieve good governance. These are overseen by central body and administrative and regulatory watch.
Mega city management thus attract attention to five major areas, demographic layout of population and its representation, social, culture reflection in housing, Healtcare, water/ sewerage / and garbage handling ( linked with non availability of land for landfills), education and to train masses in civic responsibilities , above all transportation in and out of city and internal linkages of localities.
Therefore, as a first step, new political dispensation as mega city be worked out . Followed by a detailed master plan keeping in view above points for next hundred years to be followed strictly. That means plethora of laws, rules has to be enacted, and amended. Especially replace shanty localities gradually, as has been done in most Chinese cities and many others into modern housing clusters.
It is worthwhile, as was planned in fifties, development of a new capital city near Jamshoro, and development of new international airport for next century.
PTI-MQM united committee formation is good and welcome omen. Hope this combine continue to the benefit of Pakistan and Karachi.