It is not a good piece of news for the citizens of Karachi that their city has been designated as one of the least livable cities in the world. It has been ranked 168th in the list of 172 cities across the world. The data has been compiled by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) on a range of factors, including political and social stability, crime, health care, culture, environment, education and infrastructure. The perception of Karachi is also very low in the world due to overall image of Pakistan and the fear of lawlessness and terrorism in Karachi.
For the last few years, mismanagement, a lack of civic facilities, unplanned growth and ever-increasing population have made Karachi earn the title of one of least livable cities. Moreover, the port city has remained a centre of target killings, grisly murders, assassinations and sectarian violence. In reality, Karachi is home to a multi-ethnic, multi-lingual, multi-cultural melting pot with an ever expanding and changing demography. All these complications have led to Karachi becoming a safe haven for lawlessness, terrorism, criminal and political turf wars and all sorts of civic problems.
The question arises who is responsible for this mess and what is being done other than the usual mantra of steps being taken. Fingers are being raised at the performance of the incumbent PPP Sindh government. Mainly the PPP-led government is responsible for this poor standard as the former has been ruling the city for the last one decade. This is a wake call for everyone including the ruling party, opposition, Rangers, judiciary, civil administration, police and citizens. Unless everyone plays respective roles honestly and to the best of their ability, it will remain the same. Citizens have to play a big role in this regard. In order to improve living condition in Karachi, the concerned authorities have to strictly control town planning, that includes green spaces, parks, leisure amenities, schools, hospitals, colleges and universities. A city must have water and sewerage, transport system and a system to clean the city of garbage (waste management). Active law enforcement is also a must. Due to urban growth phenomenon, the city of Karachi has been converted into a smog chamber. The best way to reduce motor vehicle caused pollution is by setting up safe and efficient public transport networks. The government can also reduce the level of pollution by planting more and more trees in various parts of the city while the Parliament needs to pass a clean air act covering all issues related to the environmental degradation and its improvement. The government needs to plan things up and put in place strict control in order to improve living standard in Karachi and other cities of the country.