KARACHI - NA-251, Karachi West, one of the most neglected constituencies of the metropolis, is inhabited by majority of the lower middle class, hailing from Urdu-speaking and Behari people who have been overwhelmingly supporting Altaf Hussain-led Muttahida Qaumi Movement for the last three decades.

Orangi Town and its adjacent localities are the abodes of Urdu-speaking population while the areas surrounded by hilly towns are dominated by Pushtoons. This part of District West has witnessed horrible riots in the past. The constituency always supported MQM, but was always neglected and no development took place during the last three decades.

A survey conducted by The Nation shows there are dilapidated and broken roads while streets were not even repaired after 2005.

Kashif Naeem, a resident of Sector 11, Orangi Town, said: “The residents are facing water, sewerage, sanitation, electricity and other problems. It seems we are not living in the 21st century, but in the stone-age civilisation. The inhabitants of the whole Orangi Town and nearby localities have been facing the problem of shortage of drinking water for many years. They have to buy water tankers. Similarly, the sewerage system has almost collapsed and local bodies’ representatives are paying no heed to the issues on the excuse of limited funds.” He said MQM carried out development work in the area in 2005 and improved the infrastructure somehow.

Imran Mirza, another resident of Orangi Town, Sector 5, while talking to The Nation, said they are facing power loadshedding more than any other part of the metropolis. He said there is no proper government hospital and educational institute here and the lower middle class families are unable to afford private schooling and medication at private doctors and clinics. He pointed out that most of the staff of Sindh government and local government are drawing salaries without attending schools and dispensaries. He averred MQM always awarded party tickets to the locals of Orangi Town, but they shifted from Orangi to some posh areas after their election.

He said MQM awarded ticket to one Saifuddin Khalid; he was a cloth seller in Orangi Town. After becoming a member of the Parliament, he not only left MQM and joined Pak Sarzameen Party, but also shifted to some posh area, he lamented.

Shamim Zehra, a resident of Orangi Town, Bangla Bazaar, stated that after the long period of negligence on the part of the municipal authorities, private NGOs started taking interest in resolving the issues of the areas. She affirmed a private NGO known as “Wasila” has started the drive to lift garbage from the area thrice in a month.

The areas falling under the constituency of NA-251 are considered strongholds of banned religious outfits, including Sipah-e-Sahaba Pakistan, Lashker-e-Jhangvi, Jamaat-ud-Dawa, Sunni Tehreek and others. It was for this reason that many incidents of ethnic riots and sectarian clashes have occurred in the area.

NA-251, Karachi West (IV), created from NA-242 as per the new delimitation, comprises Islamia Colony, Muhammad Nagar, Mominabad, Bilal Colony, Baloch Colony, Iqbal Baloch Goth, Shah Wali Ullah Colony, Data Nagar, Hanifabad, Madina Colony, Ghaziabad, Haryana Colony, Chishti Nagar, Benazir Colony, Hussainabad, Jinnah Colony and some parts of Mominabad Subdivision. The total number of registered voters in this National Assembly constituency is 405,652 of which 239,849 are males and 165,803 females. Major political parties’ candidates in the contest of July 25 include MQM-P’s Syed Ameenul Haq, PSP`s Muhammad Nehal Malik, PTI’s Muhammad Aslam, PPP’s Jameel Zia, MMA’s Muhammad Laeeq Khan, PML-Nawaz’s Fahad Shafiq and TLP’s Mumtaz Ansari. In the last general elections held on May 11, 2013, MQM’s Mehboob Alam had won the seat by securing 166,836 votes.

The neglected population of more than 0.7 million living in miserable condition still awaits betterment in the constituency where huge work is required to be done in every sector like water, health, education, infrastructure and others in this National Assembly constituency.