High-rises sans civic infrastructure to bring disaster: Altaf Shakoor

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Karachi: Expressing concern over approval of cabinet to allow construction of up to 50- storied high-rises in Karachi without provision of supporting civic infrastructure, Pasban Democratic Party (PDP) Chairman Altaf Shakoor has said such hastily decisions would create a huge disaster in the megacity, and the government before allowing erection of skyscrapers should ensure proper water, sanitation, electricity, roads, public transport and other supporting facilities.

In a statement here Wednesday, he said the megacity has already sprawled in all directions but its civic infrastructure including water and sewerage lines are based on old designs when the megacity was relatively smaller. He said in every locality overflowing gutters and broken streets show that the civic infrastructure of the city has already been in shambles. He asked who is being favored by allowing construction of skyscrapers in Karachi when the required civic facilities are simply missing there. He said this whole matter smells fishy and it is feared that notorious activities of the same corruption and kickback mafia are once again in full swing.

Altaf Shakoor said Karachi should be given the status of a charter city, so that its own citizens take decision for them and their coming generations. He said if we allow people of Dadu, Larkana or Islamabad to decide the fate of Karachi, they would simply destroy the city for their vested interests. He said these corrupt politicians would give every sort of permissions to collect bribe money to fund their next election campaigns as these elements have no political stake in the megacity and hence they are least interested with its present or future.

Altaf Shakoor said the civic infrastructure of Karachi has already been under tremendous pressure. He said the localities and neighborhoods designed for say 5000 people are now housing more than 50000 of them. He said more high-rises without improving and expanding civic infrastructure would simply choke the megacity which has already been unlivable. He said there is a dearth of public transport on one hand and on the other thousands of new private vehicles and bikes are being registered in the megacity creating serious traffic jams. He said if more skyscrapers are erected in Karachi, its streets would go jampacked with traffic. He said without revolutionizing public transport system the roads of the megacity would soon become un-motorable.

He said under the concept of Medina State, towns and cities should be small and manageable. If population grows it needs to establish new towns with all basic facilities in them for their residents. He said the people of Karachi have given a heavy mandate to PTI and MQM-P, but their coalition government in the Center is simply neglecting and destroying Karachi. He demanded making a new master plan of Karachi to cater needs of coming 100 years, besides revamping public transport, water supply and sewerage disposal systems of the megacity on war-footing basis.