KARACHI, July 9: The population of Karachi, which currently stands at 16 million, will hit 27.5 million in 2020 and will double to 32 million by 2025, estimates the city government’s final draft report on the Karachi Strategic Master Plan (KSMP) 2020.
Interestingly, more than 94 per cent of the projected increase in population is to occur in three of the city’s 18 towns, namely Keamari, Gadap and Bin Qasim towns, because of the city government’s perception the most future development will take place on the current outskirts of the city such as the southern part of Gadap town and the north-eastern section of Bin Qasim town.
Well-places sources in the city government told Dawn that the KSMP-2020 proposes phase-wise development over the next 13 years to cater to the citizenry’s growing needs. The plan, which will soon be made public, has been designed as a guide for all infrastructure development plans in the service sectors, such as solid waste disposal, telecommunications, transport, water, sewerage, electricity and gas provision facilities.
The KSMP-2020 states that the 1998 census reported 9,960,000 residents in Karachi. However, it was widely accepted that the 1998 census undercounted by between one to two million the residents of katchi abadis and migrants, particularly those from Afghanistan and Sri Lanka. Analysing different scenarios, the Karachi Strategic Development Plan 2020 estimates that 1,375,000 people were not counted and therefore, the true 1998 population stood at 11,335,000.
The KSMP-2020 states that the city’s growth rate has been in steady decline since the 1950s while United Nations’ population figures record that the annual growth rate fell from 5.85 per cent in 1950 to 4.92 per cent in 1970 and 3.39 per cent in 1990.
The report prepared by the city government estimates that the natural annual growth rate is probably close to 3.5 in Karachi currently, but notes that the conflict in Afghanistan has pushed more refugees into the city and raised the population to 15.12 million in 2005. The KSMP-2020 holds that this trend has continued into 2007 but will slowly decline in the future.
Estimated population in 2020
Towns / Localities Population Estimated
in 2005 population 2020
Site town 709.944 Little change
Keamari town 583,640 1,923,912
Gadap Town 439,675 8,245,312
Bin Qasim town 480,854 2,153,552
Baldia town 616,722 727,732
Orangi town 1,098,859 1,219,734
Lyari town 923,176 969,335
Saddar 935,566 1,029,122
Jamshed town 1,114,235 1,225,658
Gulshan-i-Iqbal town 949,351 1,120,235
Shah Faisal town 509,915 535,411
Landhi town 1,012,319 1,063,010
Korangi town 829,813 912,795
North Nazimabad town 753,423 873,971
New Karachi town 1,038,865 1,184,306
Gulberg town 688,580 723,009
Liaquatabad town 985,581 1,034,860
Malir town 604,763 695,478
Cantonment areas 464,882 618,178
Defence Housing 379,601 102,000
Source: Karachi Strategic Master Plan 2020