Lets Talk About Karachi

Karachi is a city by the sea. The thought of a city being lulled to sleep by the low and high tides of the sea water is somewhat fascinating. Thinking of Karachi one does get some romantic vibes, and I m hoping this isn’t just me. The seaside, the sand in your feet, the sun rising and falling far into the sea, all sounds like magical moments from a film.

Sadly, our beloved city has gained attention more for its troubled history, violence, lack of security than anything else.

 City of Lights

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Statistically, it is the biggest city of Pakistan and also considered one of the biggest in the world. With a population of 21.1 million, it is almost double that of Lahore’s (11.1 million). Karachi has had some golden moments. It had a reputation for being advanced and prospering. The future looked bright, a metropolis of the opportunities.

However the city of lights has come to be tarnished by not one but many reasons.

Heavy Traffic

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Traffic load is one of the most serious problems in the city. Well you would say that Lahore isn’t exactly traffic problem free. However, in comparison, Karachi is hit hard by traffic load. Public transportation is not meant to take that much load. This issue ignited when local government didn’t focus on development of proper infrastructure in past. Recently initiated Green Line project may become a sigh of relief for Karachiites, hopefully.

Water Crises

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Water Crises in Karachi are due to many factors. Current water resources are not enough to meet the demands of escalating population. Due to poor water quality and irresponsibility, three-quarters of Karachi population do not pay the water bills, according to KWSB.  According to a report by Pakistan Council of Research in Water Resources (PCRWR), about 200,000 children in Pakistan die every year of diarrhea alone. By the end of 2020, the population of Karachi is expected to grow upto 23 million, increasing the demand of water to 1242 MGD. Contamination of underground water due to unplanned urbanization and industrialization is one of the problems.

According to an article published last year, 91% of the water is unfit for human consumption in Karachi.

To read details and statistics about sampled water found to be contaminated, read here

Waste Piles in the City

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It is basic civic sense to maintain one’s area, city, region etc. However, as Pakistanis we unfortunately lack a collective sense of cleanliness. What happens outside our homes is none of our business. In this selfish agenda of keeping only our home domains clean, we forget that at the end of the day, we inhale the same air. The same air that gets affected by the piles of trash we contribute in making big. Karachi faces this problem as well.

Despite being an economic hub, Karachi seems to be neglected when it comes to waste management. Open Sewage drains and garbage dumps are a common sight all over Pakistan. But some cities are hit hard.

As per research, per capital production of waste in Karachi is 1.21 kg per day. In 2014, Sindh Assembly passed a Solid Waste Management Board Act. According to this, improved coordination and employ 3rd party contractors to better manage the solid waste. But as most things, nothing constructive seems to have come out of the Act. Sindh government controls waste management. They give tenders to different contractors to manage different forms of waste across Karachi. There also some Chinese contractor companies to manage the South and East districts of the city. Part of the plan is to also produce electricity from the waste.

To read something interesting on Karachi, read this by Nadeem F. Paracha.

Despite all these and many other problems that envelope Karachi today, we hope that Sindh government will take some solid steps to cater to them. Who can forget the not so old incident of uncovered man holes of Karachi. Do you guys remember ex CM Qaim Ali Shah came under fire for that?

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