Many issues in urban planning, which have a significant impact on the life of citizens, are of course tied together. Only cohesive, long-term planning can enable a balance to be found between these issues.
And, it has become essential to address the power issue. The sight of desperate people, sleeping on their carts or besides their rickshaws everywhere; the reports of power being cut to localities for up to eight hours at a time; the pleas of parents whose children are sick must put into motion some wheels of action.
The whole of Pakistan and especially the heart Karachi experiences its worst electricity crises this summer. The open questions remains opened that the power shortage problem has not occurred overnight. One could see it descending. The writing was very much on the wall. Now, there are no near-term solutions in sight even to mitigate the problem, let alone to resolve it. WAPDA can only try to manage the load by shutting off supplies to vast areas. The situation aggravates whenever there is a breakdown in any of its power generation units or fault in transmission and distribution system.
The roots of the current electricity crisis can be traced back to the mid-nineties when loss-making public power utilities were barred by the then government of Benazir Butto from installing new power generation units under a policy amid at encouraging private power producers. But these PPPs overcharged and their service was pathetic, and the crises just continued to get worse over the years, and now we are facing a life time misery.
Our collective failure to make right choices at the right time is compounding our misery, and there is a very little light at the end of tunnel. At the very least, people need to be heart out sympathetically rather than being bludgeoned by policeman or locked away from government offices. After all, a state unable to meet even the most primary needs of its citizen cannot in return expect anything in the way of loyalty or services for them.