Waqar H. Haidri
Karachi is mini Pakistan, it is also the business hub of the country; it has two sea ports, airport and a railway network. People from far flung areas of Pakistan come to Karachi for seeking jobs and their number is increasing day by day. Unfortunately mass transit system has not been developed only due to lack of interest by concerned authorities.
Middle class and low middle class people are compelled to use old buses and mini buses at their own risk for transportation because there is no other means of public transportation.The condition of these buses is miserable and no authority in Karachi seems responsible to check the fitness of buses.Number of buses is also insufficient, so people are also seen traveling on the roof of the buses. It is so much risky thatGod forbid, if an accident occurs, no one can imagine how much casualties could be there and then who is to blame? Perhaps there can be no answer to this question.
Federal Government during the period of Mr. Nawaz Sharif as prime minister of Pakistan had initiated a mega project of mass transit in Karachi called Green line bus service project.This project was not completed due to unknown reasons. The empty track of the green bus route and stations structure and the fencing is badly damaged at various placesand this again due to lack of interest by the concerned authorities. Alsolot of money of tax payers will be invested on the repairing of the infrastructure and day to day changes in the route causing increase in the cost of the project.I don’t understand why the government is not keen to complete the whole track on war footings, at least they should have ordered Buses which is not a readily available product in the market rather it requires a lot of time to procure buses from abroad.
Look at the thickly populated area of Sadder, Karachi, for which I suggest that at Saddar and the adjoining areas, there should not be any bus allowed for the reason that with heavy emission of smoke from the buses the whole area becomes highlypolluted and the people living there are badly affected.Therefore, government should plan alternative means of transportation with the help of Public Private Partnership.One best idea would be electric tram system in the whole Saddar and adjoining areas.
In 60s and 70s there were tram system in Saddar and M.A.Jinnah Road which was very useful in those times with old models of trams. Now time has changed and new model tramshave been developed, which we can see in City of Istanbul where Turkish Government has very well designed a network of tram system.Sindh Government should do the same thing on similar pattern which will help in controlling pollution in whole sadder area.
Another issue of adjacent area of Saddar i.e. Lines area where Parking Plaza is not being used properly and other building behind Empress Market is also proving to be useless. These both need proper systems and only Sindh Government can make these beneficial for public and for traders as well.
In the developing countries where oceanis available, it is being used for recreation/transportation purposes. God has given all natural resources to Pakistan but unfortunately we have not been able to usethese natural resources. We have 18 kilometers long Lyari expressway which starts from Lyari and goes to Sohrab Goth with a two way track. In between these tracks,sewage water nullah flows to the open sea. This sewage water causes pollution for the population on its both sides.
Pakistan has many renowned architects and Engineers the whole track can be converted into a source of transportation and recreation use Government of Sindh should consult team of architect and engineers to get their opinion about connecting the whole 18 kilometer sewage nullah with the sea in such a way that untreated sewage water should not be mixed with sea water, the whole sewage nullah can be converted into a canal which can be used for transportation of goods through boats from one point to other thus reducing heavy pollution in the city , International standardsvarious water sports facilities could also be developed which will ultimately be a source of generating funds to keep the canal functioning .Through treatment of sewage water good quality fertilizer will be available which can again be used for plantationof trees on both side of the canal
When completed,it will be a great gift for Karachiietes from the Government of Sindh.In my opinion project can be built but it requires great efforts and expertise.Example is the Suez Canalwhich is a manmadeproject.
In the end I humbly request to those who are in power to think about Karachi and eliminate the impact like we are ruining our city purposely. Clean Karachi – Green Karachi for the future generations.