The seizure of City District Government Karachi (CDGK) accounts by the Sindh government pounded the last nail in the coffin of Karachi’s golden era. With the implementation of commissionerate system, all commissioners and District Coordination Officers will now have unlimited power to manage the affairs of the city. The announcement of restoring the colonial style of governance in 21st century has left many Karachiites shocked.
Generally when governments depart, they halt new projects fearing credit-sharing. However, the former Karachi mayor, even at the time of leaving his post, made sure that the numerous projects initiated during his tenure continue in due course. By his action, he had proved himself to be the “Miracle Man”, who turned a messed up city into a truly beautiful megacity.
During his 52-month-long tenure (1,560 days), 2,159 mega projects, each worth Rs 30 million to multiple billions, were completed. Besides, 337 big machines and logistics meant for various amenity works were also purchased.
For the very first time not only the master plan of the city was prepared and given a legal status in the history, but the CDGK also completed 35 flyovers and underpasses; 356 parks; 194 water and sanitation projects; 316 major and supplementary roads and 451 educational projects. As many as 110 projects were completed in rural areas. In the transport infrastructure, 255 bus stops and 116 pedestrian bridges and a big car parking plaza were completed.
On the other hand the tried, tested and failed commissionerate system which openly negates democracy to promote toadies, would reintroduce the monopoly of privileged class over the politics of the country. Interestingly this system is in no way functional in any of the country of the world.
The people of Pakistan, especially in Karachi, have already witnessed what wonders local bodies system brought for them. It was the way for efficiently resolving the problems of the people at the lowest level, the system that had empowered the people who could easily access their representatives whenever they wanted. The commissionerate system in contrast would build up the bureaucratic infrastructure and further ruin the lives of commoners.
The ruling party had comparatively an easier way to provide relief to the people of Sindh by continuing the successful local bodies system. People might have ignored the shortcomings of government if they were educated about the system that ensures betterment of their lifestyle.
It is a time when the nation is being dragged back to the Stone Age. The media should bring the advocates of the commissionerate system to debates and ask them why the system engineered by the British does not even exist in the UK anymore. Anchorpersons should ignite a debate to educate masses about the benefits of the local bodies system and how it delivered.
Indeed the local bodies system was introduced by a dictator, but the people of Pakistan extracted maximum benefit out of it and this is what “true democracy” is all about.
The Op-ed of “Pakistan Today“