Sindh needs more urban centresSeptember 13, 2015
Karachi: Urbanization process has been accelerated in Punjab province due to dynamitic vision of their chief minister Mian Shahbaz Sharif and more cities are getting metro bus projects, quality roads, better schools and hospitals; however, in Sindh the situation is just reverse; not only big towns and cities are being developed on modern urban grounds, but even Karachi is reduced to be a jungle of slums and a backward ‘Chingchi city’.
Hyderabad, Sukkur, Larkana, Mirpurkhas, Nawabshah, Shikarpur, Ghotki and Dadu could be easily developed into modern urban centres provided the provincial government shows a progressive vision which could be implemented with an honest, capable and pro-people bureaucracy. Unfortunately, this province lacks both such vision and capable bureaucracy. This is why despite becoming a resource-rich province, Sindh is still considered a backward and poorly governed province.
However, this stigma could be removed if the rulers seriously take steps to develop bigger towns and cities of the province on war footing basis. They need to open universities, professional colleges, teaching hospitals and vocation training centres in these towns. It also needs improving roads, streets, drainage and municipal services. Police and district administration services also need a serious view to ensure end of corruption culture. Small and mid-scale industrial estates near these bigger towns could pay rich dividends and also provide ample job opportunities.
In past the government has released fat packages for Larkana, Nawabshah and other bigger towns, but sadly people complain that lion’s share of these funds went into the pocket of corruption mafia through their front men and crooked contractors. This culture need to be changed so that the development funds could really trickle down to the poor people.
Sindh needs a rapid urbanization plan on fast-track basis to ensure better facilities are also present in other cities and people have not to come to Karachi for better education, healthcare and jobs. Sindh could ensure rapid urbanization by declaring Gorakh Hill as its summer capital, suggest socio-economists. It could cabinet meetings in different district headquarters to ensure that the local issues of these towns come under the radar of top bureaucracy. However, all it requires is a bigger vision and firmer commitment with an aim to spend government funds for the benefit of people and not for the benefit of corruption mafia.