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Can the problem be fixed?

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By: Younus Sandeela

Karachi is a city with numerous complicated and interlinked problems – some so delicate in nature that it is difficult to debate them even in private discussions. From extreme ethnic polarization to unplanned expansion of the city and systematic destruction of institutions for political gains by both the MQM and the PPP, everything contributed to Karachi’s devastation. But that is a known– what is unknown is how to fix Karachi’s problems. Or rather, is it even possible to fix Karachi’s problems now?

Is it really the apathy of every successive government that Karachi keeps sliding into a bigger mess with the passage of time or could there also be some internal factors responsible for this unstoppable downslide? The recent disaster that has descended on Karachi after the unprecedented heavy monsoon rains has once again brought the issue of Karachi’s ineffective and outdated infrastructure into the centre of the debate. It also exposed Karachi’s vulnerability to climate change and the impossibility of reversing some wrong (and invariably greed-driven) actions taken over the last 40-odd years, sometimes discretely and sometimes in broad daylight, under the guise of development.

What Karachiites, and for that matter everyone who wishes to understand the cause of urban flooding in Karachi, need to understand is that it is not so much an issue of poor management and bad governance, as it is an issue of deliberately blocking the natural and manmade channels that used to drain the rainwater into the sea for centuries. Unless these channels are reopened the situation will not change, no matter how good and efficient the provincial........

© Pakistan Today

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