By Sikander Hayat
Who is responsible? There are major fires in all major cities of the world but the frequency of such incident in Pakistan is extraordinary. Some of the reasons are as follows:
1. The role of money in granting permits to have industrial waste in close proximity to housing
2. Not near enough investment in the fire fighting equipment
3. No adequate training for the fire fighting staff
4. Corrupt nature of the political class which does not care enough for people and has no sense of public duty
5. Regional political rivalry between MQM & Pakistan Peoples Party as both parties are quick to claim Karachi as their own but where good government is required, none of these two take responsibility. People like Sherjeel Memon & Farooq Sattar were quick to apportion blame on each others parties but PPP being in the government should have taken responsibility instead of wasting time in press conferences while Karachi was on fire.
Following steps need to be taken in the wake of this tragedy:
1. All the people who have lost houses should be compensated
2. All business which lost stock & premises must be compensated & rehoused away from normal dwellings
3. Pakistan Peoples Party should concentrate on government and if for political reasons they cant bring back local goverment system than they must appoint full time city managers for each of the major metropolitan areas in Sindh.
4. On a longer term basis, all of Sindh should have strong local governments with fiscal powers to raise & spend taxes on local infrastructure like fire fighting equipment.
I encourage my readers to leave their suggestions on how best to tackle this issue.
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