ALL Pakistanis have equal rights to live and enjoy their lives with facilities, activities and opportunities. Karachi has always kept all avenues open for all, but the sad part is that those responsible to run this beautiful city seem either helpless or incompetent when it comes to managing it and keeping things going in the right direction.
Big cities in any part of the world require effective planning and budgeting. Most importantly, housing and food supplies have to be made available for the population. To manage all the needs, a basic and critical element is to have correct numbers on population and rate of growth.
We hear from politicians that the correct population estimate for Karachi is about 25-30 million, but has been wrongly recorded as 15m. To have this corrected, there can be several ways to adopt, but it first requires positive intentions.
The suggestion here is to connect the population survey to CNIC records under the National Database and Registration Authority (Nadra). But it will not give the right picture until it is made compulsory for all residents to have the CNIC showing the city that they are living or working in for whatever reason; one head for ‘permanent’ address, and one for ‘present’ address.
For employees in business companies, a period of three months from the date of joining should be given to change one of the addresses in their CNICs. Similarly, those joining government departments must have at least one address showing Karachi. Likewise, for school or college admissions, it should be made compulsory, and so should be the case with fresh utility connections. To open a new bank account, the local address — either ‘permanent’ or ‘current’ — on the CNICs should be an essential requirement.
There can be several ways to make people have correct addresses in the Nadra records and this should be taken as a source for proper city planning. In fact, this rule may apply to all the cities in Pakistan.
Syed Atique Hyder
THE deteriorating law and order situation in Karachi indicates the loosening of the grip of the respective government agencies over the criminal elements. No one feels safe nowadays; not on the roads, in the courts, in shops, and even in homes.
Snatching of vehciles and mobile phones has become rampant. It is unsafe to draw money from banks or ATMs, while the banks and their strongrooms are also targeted every now and then. Extortion cases are back as part of business life in the city. This not only shows the lack of will on the part of the government to bring the situation under control, but also highlights the lethargic attitude of law-enforcement agencies. The city which generates maximum revenue needs better administrators and policies.
Malik ul Quddoos
Published in Dawn, April 24th, 2021