By Ehtesham Anwar
As most of the South Asian countries, Pakistan is similarly facing a gigantic challenge to control the mass migration of its population towards ubanisation causing sheer imbalance of the provision of social services being provided to the urban areas that already facing scarcity of resources to fulfill the basic necessities of the city dwellers.For example, Karachi has to receive thousands of immigrants on monthly basis from interior parts of the country, especially from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK) and it intensified during the war against terror in the tribal regions of FATA and KPK while none of the NFC stakeholders seems consider the sufferings Karachi has to bear and the National Finance Commission (NFC) allocates the funds according to local population but not for those who have continuously been migrating from their native places to the urban cities of the other provinces that cause serious consequences to the local citizens of urban areas.
There is no reason questioning the rights of the people to live wherever they want to live but some strategies must be devised to manage the need of growing mass urbanisation or province to province migration because the infrastructure regards certain limitations in increasing population while frenzied and turbulent hoards mostly devastate the entire administrative strategies and give really tough time to the “movers and shakers.” While the most unfortunate or alarming situation prevails when the people having administrative authorities would not act according to their mandates to get secured themselves by the political leadership or the ruling political parties as their interests depend on demographic imbalance of cities, especially in Karachi as Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) almost have no stake in the city so the party’s provincial government deliberately gives a deaf ear to voice against hysterical growth in population through mass migration even the World Bank pointed out the issue and came up with applicable suggestions to turn the situation more favorable and to give the migrants’ frenzied nature to a direction leading to economical or financial growth through letting them to equipped with some skills to face the market challenges.
The World Bank reports shows that with current growth of Pakistan’s urban population, it is expected to increase by about 40 million people to an estimated 118 million by 2030, immediate action is needed to transform the country’s cities into livable, prosperous places. The report has also termed ‘urbanisation’ as being “messy and hidden.” The messy urbanisation “refers to the proliferation of urban sprawl and slums,” while hidden urbanisation, a related concept, “refers to urbanisation that is not captured in official statistics (either deliberately or non-deliberately), often on the peripheries of major cities are the places where internally migrated people would comfortable to settle down.”
Despite all negativity of uncontrollable urbanization, it may somehow help improve the people’s live standards through provision of proper employment opportunities by letting them to earn modern technique and proper skills but every such step needs incorruptibility and righteousness of the political and other power sharing leaderships for the sake of the country and have to sacrifice their vested interests. We as nation have divine potential to rule the world even the in the World Bank report, it is revealed that if Pakistan could explore potential of urbanization may soon become a rich country but there must need some serious determination to improve the entire lot of the people not just those who belong to us and forcefully or honestly implement at least 80 percent merit in all departments and 20 percent should be given on recommendation.
Slums or ghettos
The most important part of the urbanization is the settlement of the people migrated from inner parts of the country to the big cities like Karachi, Lahore, Islamabad and Peshawar, start living in slums and ghettos where they live in communal groups or religious segments later being isolated or segregated from more developed areas of those cities, causing serious inequality or anxiety among the dwellers. The slums or ghettos don’t have appropriate civic facilities while their other city-men receive those in much better conditions, city administrations mostly don’t like to accept those settlers because they usually encroach lands for their settlements.
They run-down the areas of a city attributed by substandard housing, while the characteristics associated with slums vary from place to place usually characterized by urban decay and unemployment. They are commonly seen as “breeding grounds” for social problems such as crimes, drug addictions alcoholisms, high rates of mental illnesses and suicides. Pakistan is a home to a significant proportion of the world’s poor, as almost a quarter of the country’s 158 million people still being survived beneath a poverty line, while people migrate to urban areas they don’t have proper shelters to cover themselves and they try to have their own shelters and which result in formation of new slum.
Story first published: 20th December 2017