Mayor Karachi, Wasim AkhtarPak Chronicle Report
In developed countries local bodies system got so many powers and they also deliver to make the lives of the citizens comfortable.
However, the story of local governments in Pakistan is totally different as these institutes are yet to be entrusted with much needed powers.
Since taking charge as mayor of Karachi Wasim Akhar has been demanding more powers from Sindh Province to deliver what the citizens expect from him. .
Karachi is the most populous city of Pakistan and fifth most populated city in the world but its elected mayor got little powers to live up to the expectations off citizens.
Meanwhile, differences between the Sindh Government and Mayor Karachi which are no secret are widening every day and cost of it has to be paid by around 30 million population of the city.
Mayor Karachi Wasim Akhtar has been demanding more powers and funds from the provincial government, led by Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) for the development of Karachi. On the other hand the provincial government has been pointing an accusing finger towards his performance as the mayor of the mega city.
Sindh Minister for Local government Saeed Ghani when contacted by this scribe to get his remarks on the performance of the mayor said: “It would open a Pandora’s box if I speak about the performance of Mayor Karachi for the year 2018.”
On the other hand Mayor Karachi when contacted by the writer demanded more powers as mayor of the city. He said more funds for Karachi should be allocated and departments like Karachi Development Authority (KDA), Karachi Water and Sewerage Board (KWSB), Sindh Building Control Authority (SBCA) and Katchi Abadis be given under his control.
The mayor alleged that Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah has grabbed almost all the powers which were supposed to be powers of the mayor.
Wasim claimed that Sindh government has appointed a project director who carries out all projects which fall under Karachi Metropolitan Corporation (KMC).
He was of the view that he had been complaining that he is not allowed to initiate a project having worth of more than Rs20 million.
Wasim claimed that with such weak and limping local government system, Karachi can never be developed and if it happens so then country will never prosper.
Referring to development package for Karachi he said despite being in the coalition government his party Muthidda Qaumi Movement Pakistan (MQM-P) with Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) in the centre, so far, he is not aware of awarding of any package to Karachi by the federal government.
He claimed that Karachi has been destroyed by PPP during the last ten years and sewerage lines system needs a complete change. Roads are in battered condition and daily traffic mess has become a nuisance for the citizens, he added. According to him the city which generates highest revenue for the country is in shambles.
“Karachi is facing acute water besides facing gas shortage and daily frequent power interruptions,” he stated.
Akhtar was of view that during past many years a lot of promises were made to develop and benefit Karachi but when it comes the time to fulfill promises, Karachi gets nothing.
Referring to the bridges and footpaths he said they are all destroyed and since last ten years they (PPP) have not introduced a single transport system in the mega city of Pakistan.
Wasim said the Karachi Circular Railway (KCR) is yet a dream for Karachi and on its revival if it is given under the control of the mayor then he would run it successfully to facilitate the citizens with low-priced transport.
Mayor said he feels pain when his voters meet him and ask for water supply and complain that they are getting sewerage line water mixed in their taps.
Mayor said his voters complain that they are compelled to buy water tanker as much expensive as Rs2000.
Mayor said the citizens do not have any park for entertainment and the city has turned into a garbage den. “Currently Karachi has lowest ratio of trees if it is compared with its massive population. It needs much trees to make its environment better,” he said.
The mayor assured that he would launch a project soon to plant trees in Karachi to fight the environmental pollution.