I LIVE in Gulshan-i-Jauhar on Rashid Minhas Road opposite a well-known mall. My housemaid lives in Orangi, and she comes to my home after changing her bus twice. In other words, she has to take three buses to reach my place for work. For the return journey, she again has to change buses twice and ride three buses to reach home.
Does anybody have any idea how much time this takes, besides the hardship bordering on suffering? And this is not summer yet. Imagine such a journey twice a day for a woman in Karachi’s sweltering heat.
Millions of Karachiites travel this way daily and suffer this agony because those who rule us — and have ruled Pakistan’s biggest city — do not realise that this megalopolis must have a comfortable public transport system.
Since this is a PPP government in Sindh, Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah knows that the proposal for Karachi to have an underground railway was made by Z. A. Bhutto as far back as 1972. Since then the project has remained on paper.
Your paper reports from time to time on the fate of the Karachi Circular Railway, and there is still no possibility that the KCR will see light of day. Meanwhile, people continue to rot, dangle precariously on footboards or ride on bus roofs — a shame for our rulers. Will this city ever have a public transport system that is worth its name?
Meanwhile, I have a suggestion. I request Mr Murad Ali Shah to ask all Sindh MPs, including his cabinet ministers, to use public transport once a year if not a month to realise the agony of their voters.
Published in Dawn, February 14th, 2018