The state wants to make Karachi a 'world-class' city. But what's the cost?

The poor are being displaced from their homes and work spaces under this development imagination.
Updated 21 Aug, 2019 04:19pm
Karachi Metropolitan Corporation staff busy in removing constructions at Light House. APP photo by M. Saleem
Karachi Metropolitan Corporation staff busy in removing constructions at Light House. APP photo by M. Saleem

For a vast majority of residents in Pakistan’s cities, the process of accessing and holding on to space for shelter and for work has become a struggle to endure in the face of profound uncertainty. I am referring here not only to the poor, but also to those residents who don’t fit into neat classifications of poor or middle-class; residents that some scholars have called the "in between".

They share certain similarities in terms of how they manage their housing and livelihoods needs; they are increasingly susceptible to changing prices of inputs and especially to unexpected shifts in rents and land tenure arrangements. These residents represent a heterogeneous mix of vulnerable lives: from salaried government employees, shopkeepers and small-scale entrepreneurs to technicians, repairmen and service and industrial workers, to name a few.

Their purchasing power appears to be declining and they are constantly struggling to find ways to stretch earnings by supplementing primary incomes.

Special report: What does the future hold for Karachi's historical Saddar area?

In our ongoing work at the Karachi Urban Lab on displacements and the violent reconstruction of Karachi’s central districts, my colleagues and I have been observing how these residents are being rewritten into the city’s narrative as ‘encroachers’ and/or ‘illegals’.

From metropolitan centres like Karachi, Islamabad, Lahore and Peshawar to non-metropolitan regions such as Mithi and Islamkot, an onslaught of Supreme Court-backed ‘anti-encroachment’ drives to clear footpaths and streets and to reclaim government land has triggered widespread evictions and demolitions of shops, markets, houses and informal spaces of shelter.

These actions have impacted mostly those lives for whom the city has been a space for carving out a viable life. In this moment when ‘encroachers’ are perceived as a problem that must be solved, Pakistan’s cities have become war zones: half-built and half-destroyed terrains of spatial restructuring.

Livelihoods, loss of work

In the county's largest metropolis, Karachi, the eviction and demolition operations against commercial units have been supported by multiple stakeholders: from provincial and district governments, including municipal committees and utilities, to the paramilitary Rangers and the police.

The violent exercise of state power with its uneven effects has been justified in a bid to reinstate a well-ordered and unhindered urban environment that is acquiescent to the rule of law.

Last November in Karachi’s historic quarters, 1,700 shops were demolished and countless street vendors and hawkers removed from the Empress Market. These actions have paved the way for the market’s reconstruction. The demolitions also extended into adjacent areas of Saddar with nominal relocation provisions for the displaced. For over 50 years, these markets have been a vital space for 4,000 hawkers to secure their livelihoods, an economic practice that has also sustained thousands of households.

In-depth: What are the consequences of the anti-encroachment drive?

The reconstruction of Karachi’s historic quarters is aligned with city-wide growth strategies that emphasise aesthetic value and aim at promoting a tourist economy by converting select cultural heritages into urban amenities. These growth strategies also tap into the aspirations of upper-middle-class audiences, especially their anxieties about hygiene, cleanliness and order. Local state officials and even representatives of the judiciary have routinely invoked the city’s historical imagery as an aesthetically acceptable model for urban reconstruction.

Even though heritage preservation plays an important role in the promotion of the urban tourism industry, I remain cautious given its impact on poor and low-income residents/workers who are often driven out; for instance through evictions or rising rents as profit-seeking capital investment takes over these spaces.

To date, nearly 11,000 shops and 20 markets have been demolished in the anti-encroachment drives in Karachi’s central districts. But it isn’t just shopkeepers and traders who have incurred financial losses; the losses extend to wholesalers, service contractors, transporters and workers, many of whom have seen their livelihoods evaporate in the war zone's wreckage.

Yet, the evictions story is far from over. Municipal authorities intend to further demolish 2,000 shops and stalls, for instance the 40-year old Urdu Bazaar Market and the Lea Market (see the map below).

I am uncertain how many livelihoods will be impacted because of this eviction. Suffice to say, municipal authorities have not shared with the public any plans to relocate those who are going to be displaced.

For decades, shopkeepers, traders, hawkers, small-scale entrepreneurs and networks of ancillary workers and suppliers have accessed and held on to these work spaces by relying on a form of legitimacy that was based on striking deals with municipal authorities, the police, military and politicians for leases and rents. These ‘quiet deals’ conferred a distinct legitimacy in which the state transgressed the rule of law by circumventing accountability and planning regulations.

This ‘illegality’ has underwritten the mode of governance in cities like Karachi, a process through which the state has accommodated and tolerated urban livelihoods and survival strategies — whether on the city’s footpaths or as commercial unit extensions on government land.

Aftermath of a demolition operation in Saddar, Karachi. — KUL
Aftermath of a demolition operation in Saddar, Karachi. — KUL

But today, the judiciary’s interventions into urban planning and local government imply a shifting terrain of governance and power; a process of intensifying evictions and demolitions with little or no resettlement or compensation.

Ironically, the mayor’s office has been beleaguered by the mass wreckage left behind. Who will get rid of the ruins? Over the past few decades, financial austerity and limited resources have forced Karachi’s municipal authorities to rely on a complex web of third-party contractors who supply not only the bulldozers and loaders but also the men who drive them.

Bahria Town Karachi: Greed unlimited

In the absence of reliable manpower and equipment for clearing the wreckage, the mayor has turned to his own network, notably the real estate tycoon Malik Riaz who has supplied the requisite equipment.

The irony is not lost: in Karachi’s periphery, the construction of Malik Riaz’s colossal gated community project — Bahria Town — materialised through illegal deals struck with state officials for land acquisitions that led to the demolition of villages, loss of livelihoods and impacted local ecologies.

Effects on formal & informal housing

As evictions and demolitions gather pace in urban centres, residential spaces are also affected. In Karachi, it isn’t just residents in informal settlements that are the target of evictions; for instance the informal settlements that include the 28 neighborhoods situated along the Karachi Circular Railway (KCR) tracks and nearly 1,400 households that were displaced and resettled on amenity plots in North Nazimabad due to the Preedy Street’s reconstruction in 2008. The latter group now confronts the nightmarish prospect of double displacement.

But also, planned residential spaces like the Martin Quarters where residents are employed in public and private institutions, such as government employees, software engineers, schoolteachers. Martin Quarters lies just beyond Teen Hatti, straddling both the PECHS and Garden East, and its central location marks this residential space as prime real estate.

It is part of seven government quarters (see the map below) where an estimated 24,784 residents face evictions due to the Supreme Court’s anti-encroachment notice. Many of the residents who have made home in these planned settlements came as refugee migrants during Partition. In October 2018, in an unanticipated eviction operation against Pakistan Quarters, residents blocked the entry of officers from the federal housing department, and were met with an onslaught of police batons and water cannons.

In the informal settlements situated along the KCR tracks, approximately 60,000 residents are in danger of eviction (see the map below). Who are these residents? They are recyclers who sort rubber, plastic leather, shoes; drivers, labourers, shopkeepers, security guards, housewives, cattle farmers, tailors; maids who work in Karachi’s upper-middle-class homes; and an emergent generation of teachers, bankers, technicians, lawyers.

As the federal government pushes aggressively for the revival of the KCR project with no resettlement plan in sight, residents in Ghareebabad in Saddar Town; Umar Colony in Jamshed Town; Quaid-i-Azam Colony in Liaquatabad Town and Machar Colony in Keamari Town, to name a few, are living in a constant state of anxiety.

Life along KCR: Between aspirations for mobility and threat of eviction

These settlements are also experiencing what I call ‘low-intensity’ demolitions. In such instances, municipal authorities don’t demolish the entire residential settlement as this would draw unwanted media attention given the ongoing controversy about resettlement plans. Instead, a few pakka houses and particularly jhuggies are destroyed.

Municipal authorities and the media continually refer to the jhuggie dwellers as khana badosh or vagrants even though these communities have lived in the neighbourhoods for decades.

In August 2018, in Ghareebabad Colony located next to the PIDC Bridge, five residential units were demolished under the pretext of repairing a water line. Approximately 40 people were displaced, and one person was forced to relocate his belongings to an empty space under the PIDC bridge, while others sought refuge in relatives’ homes.

For the federal and municipal authorities, the low-intensity demolitions signal that some progress is underway with the Supreme Court’s order. There is also a subtle expectation that residents will relocate without resistance when bulldozers arrive next.

Akin to many other parts of the city, the KCR informal settlements are mixed-use spaces: commercial and residential spaces where people live and work. In Quaid-i-Azam Colony, not only were extensions of houses located along the track demolished, but a longstanding and thriving furniture market was destroyed. In other settlements, countless small-scale mechanic repair shops, shoe recycling businesses, grocery shops, small-scale cattle businesses and recycled furniture warehouses have been razed.

An informal shoe recycling workshop demolished.—KUL
An informal shoe recycling workshop demolished.—KUL

These small-scale, informal economies of work are connected through the survival strategies of the poor and the urban majority; they symbolise what is essential for the ordinary citizen to belong in the city. The spaces denote the right to work that is also connected with the right to housing. It is interesting to note that in the broader anti-encroachment narrative, it is the poor and the urban majority’s work spaces that have the least legitimacy.

The chief justice’s reaction is telling in terms of the support given to selective uses of state power and violence in the anti-encroachment operations. After the violent standoff between the federal housing department officials, police and the residents of Pakistan Quarters, former Chief Justice Saqib Nisar reprimanded Karachi’s mayor. Shortly thereafter, the eviction deadline was extended.

Related: 'The woman was stricken as they demolished her house. She went into coma and died'

But the Supreme Court’s ambiguous language has enabled the municipal authorities, the Rangers, the police and their shields and batons to collectively ease the passage of bulldozers brought to destroy so-called ‘illegal’ spaces.

In a rush to demolish commercial units in the KCR’s dense informal settlements, the anti-encroachment drive has destroyed ground floor work spaces in mixed-use buildings. But this has left the upper residential spaces teetering precariously on shaky foundations. Thus, residential displacement has accelerated as families are being forced to vacate homes rendered dangerous for inhabitation.

A partially demolished mixed-use building.— KUL
A partially demolished mixed-use building.— KUL

In the context of the Supreme Court and government officials’ desire to return Karachi to its "original shape and colours", the situation for street vendors, small-scale informal businesses and shopkeepers appears to be more precarious as they are continually displaced without any plans for relocation.

In fact, municipal authorities are extending their remit to limit the activities of street vendors by blocking their access to urban spaces such as the Clifton Beach, which has been the penultimate public space for the poor and the urban majority.

Ultimately, the ongoing dehumanisation of informal workers and the increasing criminalisation of their work implies that they have limited or no institutional channels to turn to in order to claim their right to work. This contrasts even with some of the city’s informal residents who have been able to access institutional channels and political connections to resist evictions and claim their rights. For informal workers such as street vendors, hawkers, shopkeepers, recyclers, small-scale informal entrepreneurs, the situation appears to be the opposite.

The quest for an orderly city

In Karachi and in other urban centres across Pakistan, municipal authorities, mayors, commissioners, urban planners and privileged citizens are upholding a claim to a well-ordered urban environment where public space is unhindered by ‘encroachers’, thereby restoring the city’s splendour and also clearing the way for infrastructural developments.

In Karachi’s case, these claims also overlap with an irrefutably clear discursive and aesthetic form in the idea of a ‘world-class city’ that is tied to specific imaginations of improvement, transformation and renewal. To what extent have the poor and the urban majority been displaced from this development imagination? People are not only being displaced from their homes but also from their work spaces.

Also read: Who pays the price for mega projects in Pakistan?

As the ‘rule of law’ and a new urban planning regime reconfigure government and the urban environment today, it matters that we ask how this process is affecting urban spaces that have sustained the economies of everyday life and different forms of housing for the poor and the urban majority.

Why? Because people are not rendered vulnerable or poor naturally. Instead, they are pushed into precarious situations by ill-advised Supreme Court orders, top-down planning decisions and state violence that end up reproducing urban inequality.

We need urgent conversations about urban planning as a critical site of politics, especially one that advocates the right to an inclusive city. But we must do so by first acknowledging that urban planning has a dark side of control and violence, and the effects on cities in Pakistan are real for the poor and the urban majority.

I am indebted to the KUL research associates for their insightful comments on this piece.


Are you working on Pakistan's political economy and development? Share your insights with us at prism@dawn.com

Email


Author Image

Nausheen H. Anwar is associate professor at IBA's department of social sciences and liberal arts, Karachi.


The views expressed by this writer and commenters below do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of the Dawn Media Group.

Comments (53) Closed

CanadianT
May 29, 2019 05:25pm
Please do not worry IK is building NAYA Pakistan to provide affordable housing to poor for free . 10 Million houses coming like Tree Tsunami and what a loss of business ? Pakistan will be having overflow of jobs soon see his statements
Recommend 0
Ali S
May 29, 2019 05:43pm
This is the natural outcome of having an unplanned city without a functioning local government - people take it upon themselves to carve out a way of living through under-the-table deals with local officials. The blame rests primarily on the Sindh government for aggressively undermining Karachi's right to self-governance and municipal authority for its own selfish, vested interests. Karachi is critically in need of a fully functional, empowered and well-funded local government, preferably one that reports and draws funding directly from the federal government rather than the Sindh government (whose interests collide with that of Karachi's). The poor and lower middle classes of Karachi deserve a place to live in peace and a livelihood as well - the government should construct planned high-density public housing projects all across the city and relocate all the people displaced from anti-encroachment drives there.
Recommend 0
Rustam Kanchwala
May 29, 2019 06:26pm
Under the leadership of PM Imran Khan, Karachi will once again will be brought to its past status which was destroyed by MQM, ANP, PPP, PML-N, JI for their own political gains. We now have a true and honest leader of Pakistan.
Recommend 0
Husaain-NY
May 29, 2019 06:41pm
No world class city. It should be a world class slum for other parts of Pakistan to progress.
Recommend 0
haider shaikh
May 29, 2019 07:13pm
The governments worldwide take such actions for the greater good of the population. Few people have to suffer and sacrifice. Though sympathies are with the people who have been displaced, but actually they had built their homes on state land...The state has the right to vacate them for the benefit of a vast population.
Recommend 0
Rahul
May 29, 2019 09:00pm
To make a city world class you need rest of the world to recognize it as such. Good luck with that !!
Recommend 0
imf
May 29, 2019 09:02pm
It is a very commendable desire for a country but in the case of Pakistan, the problem is that there are too many Pakistanis in Karachi and not any others. The Pakistanis who are there are of low-quality intelligence and always guaranteed to fail. So most of them will have to consider the Rubbles around as a "World City", very much like Mogadishu.
Recommend 0
citizen
May 29, 2019 09:07pm
Karachi alone paid over 60% revenue of Pakistan and 95% of Sindh. Development in Karachi required to generate more revenue.
Recommend 0
AA
May 29, 2019 09:09pm
Will KCR trains be moving in one direction or will they travel in both directions?
Recommend 0
Laila
May 29, 2019 09:27pm
Why only Karachi? In fact why not first ensure all of Pakistani cities have infrastructures such as roads, pedestrian foot walks separate from cars lanes, buildings, smooth roads, a metro system and just overall structure so its easier to navigate?
Recommend 0
Javed
May 29, 2019 09:29pm
Karachi cannot become Dubai, without a do over. Period.
Recommend 0
Ekramul Majid
May 29, 2019 09:31pm
The first thing to make Karachi into a shining city is proper trash pickup and garbage disposal. People must be educated about cleanliness. Proper hygiene will cut down on diseases, leading to good health of all citizens of the city.
Recommend 0
Napier Mole
May 29, 2019 10:13pm
Which government ever declared their intention to make Karachi a world class city! Local government? It does not exist. Sindh government? If they were worth their salt and understood governance than they would not have usurped the local government’s powers. Federal government? Look at the cantonments and other federal owned ‘assets’ in Karachi. Are they any models of civilised existence except for some parts of DHA, not even the whole DHA. Karachi can never go back to its potential till it has a fully empowered metropolitan government. Period.
Recommend 0
N_Saq
May 29, 2019 10:27pm
If you want Karachi to be world class city then you need to build high rise buildings of at least 50 stories or more. In fact Pak should build 50 or more stories buildings all over Pak i.e. Lahore, Quetta, Peshawar, Gawadar etc. This way Cities will not spread out and should/can be planned well.
Recommend 0
CanadianT
May 29, 2019 11:17pm
@Javed, Please come out of fantasy land by using the leader fed rhetoric. Karachi is a city and home for millions of poor class citizens living at lowest level of income in the world. Dubai Dream is being used by builders to capture more land from its original inhabitant to by hook and crook but they never make it like Dubai without Dubai like law and order enforcement which requires lots of guts.
Recommend 0
Canadian
May 29, 2019 11:22pm
A political passion is critical to implement change. IK talks without thinking and then after thinking, he takes a U-turn. His first mandate is to make sure the people of Pakistan trust him and then allow him to make decisions. Some will fail and some will be fulfilled. Making decision, followed by taking action is the way to go. It may sound weird to most Pakistanis, he can learn from Modi. People of India likes him because what he says, he does.
Recommend 0
Chunnu Mian
May 29, 2019 11:32pm
@Rustam Kanchwala, But MQM is a partner in federal government. Imran Khan begins his day praising the cabinet members from MQM. Is it a ritual of naya Pakistan?
Recommend 0
Sid
May 30, 2019 12:02am
At any cost... and eliminate all those who come in the way of progress...
Recommend 0
KhanRA
May 30, 2019 12:37am
We can’t just let squatters take over public spaces, even if they make their livelihoods from it.
Recommend 0
Sane One
May 30, 2019 12:46am
There is a thing called city planning. Granted older cities did not have it but Karachi or any other city in Pakistan is not that old that it could not be planned. Issue is corrupt government who , instead of uplifting own cities, stole money and bought properties in developed countries and cities.
Recommend 0
Hafeez
May 30, 2019 12:51am
Karachi is hub of land grab by PPP and Malik riaz.. Can you take back confiscated property around bilawal house.
Recommend 0
Adil Jadoon
May 30, 2019 12:58am
Why are these people building on land that does not belong to them. There is no respect for other people's rights in this country.
Recommend 0
waleed Karachi
May 30, 2019 01:48am
Thanks for ruining my city and Pakistan Mr Niazi
Recommend 0
Ayaz
May 30, 2019 02:08am
So much injustice towards the poor. Sadly, they can't even turn to the courts for restitution since its the courts that have ordered this misguided venture. There is no way the city can be brought back to its old "Glory". It has 300% more people than it did just 20 years ago. It is a much bigger city and in many ways much more modern. Grand designs never work, instead they lead to oppression, theft and injustice. Instead pass basic rules for development and let the free market find the correct solutions. After all, the best cities in the world, including Rome, London, Milan, Medina, etc. were unplanned. Let the people of the city of Karachi design their own city. The last thing its residents need is an unqualified urban planner, a judge, to decide their fate and their future.
Recommend 0
Syed A. Mateen
May 30, 2019 02:23am
Karachi was supposed to go through transportation system similar to London where majority of people use Tube and Trains to go to their work places and return back home but unfortunately people who were at that time sitting at the helm of affairs did not planned as how the city should grow. The entire system of rehabilitation of people who migrated from India was overlooked by the Karachi city administration resulting in illegal settlements in different areas of Karachi. The influx of the people who came to Karachi from other cities for earning their bread and butter has added illegal settlements whereas no formal approval was given by any competant authority. We should not allow city of Karachi to grow in haphazard manner which has not only created traffic problems but also resulted in multiple increase of the crimes rate in Karachi. When I look at the pictures of old Karachi before partition and after the partition it gives me a clear picture as why SCP ordered for demolition.
Recommend 0
Umair Khan
May 30, 2019 02:28am
Is there any difference between legal and illegal if yes it has to be done at once for all... If not let it go as it is... Create more mess on roads.
Recommend 0
Erum
May 30, 2019 02:44am
5th: Education: literacy rate in Karachi is about 90%, but due to heavy school fees people are force not to send their children into school. Infact child goes for work instead of going to school. 6th: change all the police stations, they are the truly supporters of crimes. Karachi needs a rapid action force. The people who join this force should belong to Karachi. 7th: make tax system easier even for a housemaid. 8th basic utilities like gas, electricity, water, telephone should be cheap so everyone can afford it. 9th close all cng pump station gas should be use for domastic purpose and not for commercial purpose. 10th Food, clothes prices should be controlled regularly, check these Ramadan. Are we really happy to call ourselves Muslims? 11th support some patriotism by sending karachiwalay into Arm forces. 12th new parks, new parking places, zoo, fun parks, swimming pools in all areas is a must in Karachi, don't forget ladies and children. 13th all new societies must have these things.
Recommend 0
Desi
May 30, 2019 04:09am
Karachi can never be a world class city just by improving the buildings and infrastructure. People need to be educated and retrained, people need to stop throwing garbage wherever they want, people need to distinguish between right and wrong, good and bad before any progress can be made. Right now the entire Pakistan is concerned about themselves. Nobody cares how their city can be improved or what they can do to make things better around their neighborhood. It is always somebody else’s job. People need to change their mentality if any change is to come in Pakistan. No government can bring change if people don’t change their ways
Recommend 0
Syed Ali
May 30, 2019 05:10am
@Rustam Kanchwala, It is not so simple to revitalize a mega city like Karachi; there are slums in Brazil, Bombay, Mexico City, etc. Only poor people of Karachi are not responsible for the dilipitated conditions, for example, even in DHA society you will see beautiful home and an empty plot with piles of garbage, these well to do people can do something to let someone collect the garbage on daily basis and dump it at some landfill, but they wouldn't do it. THINK WHY, you know why,
Recommend 0
Syed Ali
May 30, 2019 05:13am
@Husaain-NY, boy, you really are a disgruntled one, I don't know if -NY means you are from NY, there are slums in NY, and Pakistani slums too.
Recommend 0
Syed Ali
May 30, 2019 05:18am
@citizen, Once Gwadar port become functional this 90% revenue will decline rapidly; goods bound for PUjab will use the new and better port of Gwadar and modern freeways. Put is bluntly Karachi will lose it luster.
Recommend 0
Syed Ali
May 30, 2019 05:20am
@Ekramul Majid, Sorry, I brought attention to your Idea in my earlier post, not sure it was published, you hit on the nail.
Recommend 0
Syed Ali
May 30, 2019 05:23am
@N_Saq, tall buildings need big powerplants, and they don't come cheap, money don't grow on trees either,
Recommend 0
N Abidi
May 30, 2019 06:13am
The state should do both, build Karachi up,and build low cost housing also, build up building ,done with safety, large families in mind,plus , qualified people should be given free housing,do the right thing!
Recommend 0
Arsala khan
May 30, 2019 06:32am
@Javed, why would you want to turn Karachi in to Dubai in the first place? What do you mean by Do over? Who will benefit from the Do over? What would become of its squatter settlements? The author literally explained the impact of evictions and anti encroachment drives on the economy; formal and informal yet you want the ‘Do over’.
Recommend 0
A
May 30, 2019 06:55am
Let him do it. Don’t worry about land grabbing by politicians from encroachers both are illegal. Just one is poor and other is rich. Human rights violations happen everywhere so be it in Karachi as well.
Recommend 0
Akil Akhtar
May 30, 2019 08:31am
For that you need world class citizens also...not those who are trigger happy and involved in violence as a hobby.....
Recommend 0
roro
May 30, 2019 09:04am
This is what you get if you are not planning the city. The people who are already struggling to meet end meet create temporary housing/work situation any where in the city and try to forcefully convert it to permanent solution creating unnecessary havoc for every citizen of Karachi. if you commute daily in Karachi you can see that distances of minutes have been converted into hours for no particular reason except for unplanned expansion of the city. If it is not controlled than city would be destroyed what is left of it anyway. unfortunately political establishment is corrupt incompetent or thinking for itself all the time. That is why judiciary have to take actions. Otherwise for people of Karachi it would be business as usual without any thought of what their action do to others. Very disappointing
Recommend 0
Shahzad Kazi
May 30, 2019 09:52am
@Ali S, How can the Sindh governmen's interests collide with Karachi's interests? Karachi is the capital of Sindh.
Recommend 0
Shahzad Kazi
May 30, 2019 09:54am
@N_Saq, There is no water, power, adequate sewerage or security. The streets are crowded and jammed and you are proposing the construction of high rise buildings.
Recommend 0
Patriot
May 30, 2019 10:35am
Who will eliminate the mafias?
Recommend 0
Hassan
May 30, 2019 11:20am
Decades of no law enforcement allowed all these people to thrive. Now that the law is being enforced they have to pay a heavy price. Property rights and rule of law is a necessary precondition to economic growth so it has to be done.
Recommend 0
Dr. Addy
May 30, 2019 12:11pm
Please provide water to Karachi. This is the basic necessity.
Recommend 0
BAXAR
May 30, 2019 12:16pm
@Arsala khan, "The author literally explained the impact of evictions and anti encroachment drives on the economy; formal and informal yet you want the ‘Do over’." What do you do when you see a problem? Do you try to resolve it or not.? Everything you do in life has some adverse consequences as well, that doesn't deter you from doing something. If the author thinks that encroachment is tolerable, she should prsent her house to encraochers, not mine
Recommend 0
Vikas
May 30, 2019 12:42pm
Please concentrate on basics rather than optics and cosmetics. Keep things functional and prioritise health, cleanliness and neatness and education. If it is possible with the water resources at hand then put some greenery and grass and trees. Those are most important. Everything else is just optics.
Recommend 0
Amir
May 30, 2019 07:04pm
@Rahul, You have to MAKE it a world class city first before expecting recognition.
Recommend 0
Amir
May 30, 2019 07:09pm
@Desi, The solution for this is very simple! Just enforce the law but unfortunately in Pakistan the law makers and enforcers themselves are the biggest law breakers!!
Recommend 0
Amir
May 30, 2019 07:13pm
i am sure the writer has traveled to other major and not so major cities overseas and has seen for herself how these cities are planned and maintained. The prerequisite for this honest, dedicated and functioning leadership which we sadly lack in Sindh.
Recommend 0
SHAHID SATTAR
May 30, 2019 09:13pm
With the number of stakeholders who abound in Karachi, getting their share from parking lots earnings to thousands of acres of land transfers every month, it is impossible to achieve the goal of making the city comfortable once again. Until and unless the whole city is brought under one single platform to rule and govern, it is just a pipe dream which has been and will remain a dream in the coming times as well.
Recommend 0
JJ
May 31, 2019 02:25am
PPP after ZAB, lost all ethics of public and people's party and slowly became party of the land lords and waderas. It had devastated its own home ground, so called Sindh and specially Karachi. The uneducated class and the rulers both are the life line of PPP and they are making sure to keep the masses uneducated.
Recommend 0
Aslam 66
May 31, 2019 02:51am
95% of Karachi currently is a world class SLUM. There are plenty of theories of how did we get here’s but there are no good options to improve its status in any meaningful manner.
Recommend 0
Syed and Syed
May 31, 2019 03:45am
Fifty years of brutal treatment of Karachi(after shifting capital)by provincial and central government is ample proof that it can not be left at the mercy of Sindh government. On viable solution lies in giving it province status. Please deo notb play politics with the city.
Recommend 0
Taha Abbas
May 31, 2019 12:58pm
Illegal is illegal should not be burden on citizens who bought their homes, offices and shops legally. Actual culprits are the local officials who were involved in these kind of under the table deals.
Recommend 0