Governance: Multi-storied facility idle, streets clogged with wrong parking

Karachi: Karachi houses the first multi-storied car parking plaza of Pakistan, which was built about a decade back to solve the chronic traffic jam issue is Saddar area; however, due to the bad governance of bureaucracy, this car parking plaza remains virtually idle while streets of the vicinity are clogged with wrong parking.

Wrong and illegal parking in the area which houses the multi-storied car parking plaza is not only illogical but also exposes the governance capacities of the administration, which despite the passage of about 10 years is still clueless how to make its multi-million parking plaza functional, though it just requires a simple notification to ban parking in the vicinity.

The car parking plaza, the biggest car parking plaza of Pakistan, was constructed about a decade back with an idea to encourage people to utilize this facility by making the whole Saddar a no-parking area, but when the building was constructed the implementation of making Saddar no-parking zone was put on the back burner because of the clash of interests. The traders and market association opposed the idea of banning parking on streets, saying it would result in fewer buyers visiting their shops. However, the administration accepted their plea and did not declare the area a no-parking zone as per the original plan of CDGK car parking plaza.

This why this costly car parking building is still idle and the vicinity crowded with illegal parking. The residents of the area complain that this spacious parking plaza is now even being used for the purposes other than vehicle parking. There are complains that some vested interests are planning to use its space as goodowns. Dozens of shops which could fetch rent of millions of rupees to the KMC are also idle, and now glass doors of some of these news shops have gone broken due to lack of their maintenance.

In fact the whole surroundings of this modern building is dirty with gutter water running freely in front of it and filth and garbage strewn everywhere. The gutters in front of the plaza are without cover, posing grave danger for passing traffic. This area inundated in gutter water has been serving as a breeding ground for dengue and malaria mosquitoes. However, the civic agencies are least concerned about the issue, as making this car parking plaza non-approachable for citizens serves their purpose to allow illegal and wrong parking on streets to facilitate the area shopkeepers.

Civil society has demanded of the local government minister Sharjeel Inam Memon, and Karachi Metropolitan Corporation (KMC) administrator Saqib Soomro to take notice of the situation and make this flagship project of the KMC functional, which need just a stroke of pen, as all needed is a simple notification to declare the Saddar area as no-parking zone, as per the original plan of the CDGK car parking plaza.

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