Writer: Mr. Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan
The spell of torrential rains has laid bare the fault lines of infrastructural projects in the country. The quantum of monsoon downpours has also significantly risen to the effect that urban flooding has become a new normal. To be specific, the recent spell of monsoon showers in Karachi has upended the infrastructural fragilities and brought the wheel of civic life to a grinding halt. The optics has it all.
Roads presenting the view of water tributary, packed drains, over flowing potholes and sinking cars. Could that all be expected of a province whose annual development budget totals to the tune of Rs250 Billion?
Comparing the performance of the government it can be noted that it has improved from what it was before. But the change in their performance and attitude has not added anything substantial to towards the discharge of municipal duties required of them.
The root cause of this problem has its genus in planning& implementation of executive public policy. The lack of expertise in the policy planning coupled with an ill-sighted politicians and static bureaucracy block out all possibilities good governance.
The cobweb of rigid formalities seeking hierarchical approvals and assessments allow the system to be hijacked by administrative incompetence that in turn gives rise to corruption. The role of civil society has also remained dormant because of Government’s unwillingness to engage general public in drafting policy proposals.
It is also on record that how our local electable influence awarding of contracts to their parasites for easy money and ulterior political gains. Resultantly, the contracts are awarded to sole proprietor construction companies that are oblivious to the scientific principles of Engineering and hence to the technicalities of the project.
The result of which is what we see on routine basis in the form of faulty infrastructural that fall incapable of catering to the demand of city. This practice also allows government officials to revise tenders oft repeatedly for monetary gains. Owing to that, government continues to spend billions of rupees on development without any potent benefit to the life of tax paying citizens.
In a laymen’s opinion it is suggested that the new rules shall be enacted with the obligation that only the top firms (foreign or national) with a clean record and sophisticated development apparatus would be allowed to bid for the tenders. Additionally, a committee comprising of various representatives from government, citizenry, NGO’s, Judiciary, Journalists etc. shall also be constituted at district level to express satisfaction and score the quality of completed works for effective public accountability and inclusive governance.
This would not only ensure sustainable quality construction but will also drastically dampen the prospects of corruption at all levels. For all this to come true, an able leadership and a competent ground is required for deliverance.