The new mayor, Murtaza Wahab is straight to work. Find out 5 things that he spoke about and read our letter to him on the struggles of living in Karachi.
Karachi has a new mayor, Barrister Murtaza Wahab who is all set to make Karachi “clean & green” But will his plans ever see fruition? Will it be an empty promise and dashing hopes for Karachiites yet again? At a meeting/press conference of departmental heads at KMC headquarters, he gave a preview of what plans he has for Karachi and seemingly assured citizens of his seriousness and support.
Plans For Karachi
- First and foremost, under the clean and green city objective, his announcement of completely banning wall chalking and plastic bags has made headlines – and it is to be noted, the violation of the rule would not be tolerated, ensuring strict implementation of laws.
- He said that his priority is to stabilize Karachi Metropolitan Corporation (KMC) financially stressing how that is imperative and KMC would work together with the provincial government to stand on its own feet.
- He also said his topmost challenge at this time is cleaning the drainage system of Karachi as part of taking measures for the heavy monsoon season the city struggles to contain and the urban flooding Karachi succumbs to. He made the assurance that residents would see a change within the next 100 days. (making big claims!)
- He also stressed on enhancing the city’s basic infrastructure, road maintenance and providing adequate street lighting. He further spoke about improving KMC hospitals ensuring citizens have access to quality medical facilities.
- He added that the city is facing serious water shortage and thus various projects are in place while improving on the sewage system so that roads and footpaths are not in the face of destruction. Wahab said developmental work is under way in different areas of the city, adding that better transport facilities would be provided to the people, construction and repair of roads and bridges in different areas would be completed rapidly. The mayor has also announced plans for various public-private partnership projects aimed at engaging the private sector in the city’s construction and development efforts.
A Letter On Behalf Of Karachiites
Dear Mr. Mayor,
If at the odd chance, you do end up reading this – please consider this just a 30% of the plight of Karachiites. We are not as resilient as people make us out to be and quite truthfully, nearing the end of our patience. We don’t want to be resilient anymore.
The Daily Routine Of Suffering
We, as Karachiites, suffer on a daily – our regular days (everyday) are a struggle even before we even leave our homes. Wake up for work, but wait did you get to sleep or was the electricity out on a world tour again last night? Begrudgingly, dragging yourself to make a quick breakfast but is the gas off again? Sleep deprived and hungry you go about your day in your car, only to get on the road that will have 5 different gutter holes, different sizes an intensity, mind you, you need to dodge them all on the way. Then comes the heaps of gravel, random slabs of concrete, dug up roads, mountainous terrains, a wide trench the size of Lahore while we maneuver along the impossibly tiny lanes to get to our destination praying for the welfare of our vehicles.
While we are on the scrawny path, there will be at least 3 puddles of aromatic sewage water perfuming the air with heaps of trash swimming through. Our cars? Oh those poor vehicles? All scratched up, tires busted and still going with God’s mercy. People’s hard earned money and the excessive burgeoning taxes on the cars? No issues? Who cares? You can always get a new car but wait…can’t even comfort ourselves with the thought of changing our cars next year anymore – tax alert!
Driving In The City
Driving in the city? PSA – it’s drive at your own risk! A nightmare through and through, in a repeated cycle of daily questioning your will to live in the city, incoming traffic’s absolute persistence on not following rules (Wait, do we still have those in Karachi?), no operational traffic signals, no traffic police, roads resembling a jungle – the wild west? You start questioning your own sanity… A secure LABELLED one way road too ends up becoming a free zone – cars drive up and down, left and right. A route that should take you no more than 10 mins end up taking you 30 minutes with unbelievable rage and stress levels rising to new heights! Can we not ensure the city has working traffic signals, stricter traffic laws? Cameras installed to issue digital challans, separate lanes for heavy vehicles and public transport? Why do we have to dodge a tanker, tractor and bus on our residential lanes on a daily?
Why do we have to engage in a battle to survive on the roads of Karachi daily?
Quality Of Life & Essentials
When you finally reach your destination or are back home after a physically, emotionally and mentally exhausting day, there is the question of whether you will have electricity or not, and thankfully when you do – people might prefer sweltering in the heat than hike up their electricity bills further while awaiting another random power tariff to surprise us with a higher bill. Is there no limit to the miscellaneous charges adding up? Why is the power tariff too our duty? Water? A wide area of Karachi doesn’t even remember that water is to be provided by the state but we even have to pay for our own water (at exorbitant rates), hence aiding Tanker mafias succeed.
Continuing To Pay For The Damages Thanks To The City
The urban flooding had already left us with years worth of damage – just when we thought we were over with the horrors of our basement flooding, causing people’s homes’ foundations to be jolted and damage boundary walls… there’s more. Thanks to the wondrous road situation in the city we now have to bear the hefty expense of fixing all that only to await another big fat bill strangled out of us to repair our cars. Isn’t half the population now facing various respiratory diseases thanks to the excessive dust, worsened pollution – fixing our dust allergies one inhaler at a time? The pollution is horrid!
If you are inadvertently behind a garbage truck on the road – run, don’t duck – overtake asap! It’s just sad at this point how the garbage truck responsible for transporting the garbage away from civil population lands up on our cars, in the side plots and lanes. Why? Where is our Nisf and Eman? Let’s walk to the store or the shop? Prepare to wear heavy duty footwear to avoid the tons of trash. Let’s not even talk about the vintage architecture decaying and the recent ones covered in political posters, filth, chalked and sprayed walls displaying different options for Bengali babas!
The new mayor, Murtaza Wahab did add at the press conference in Frere Hall that the city belongs to everyone and all have to work beyond politics for the city’s interest. We really hope you live by your statement and work on the above issues because now, living in the city is insufferable and nearing brutality.