So far the monsoon season has proven a bane for the residents of Karachi. It’s no exaggeration to say that chaos ruled in Karachi over the weekend and Eid. Though the local government made desperate attempts to bring normalcy to the metropolitan, however, the efforts were insufficient. True that the rain was objectively catastrophic, but the city’s infrastructure has proven to be inadequate in coping with such natural calamities.

Apart from incurring financial losses on people, the rains took the lives of many. The single most dominant cause of these casualties was electrocution. When the chaos was ruling the city, the provincial government of Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) was nowhere in sight. And Prime Minister (PM) Imran Khan has decided to capitalise on the opportunity. In a tweet, PM Khan announced that the federal government would come up with a comprehensive package to end the decades of neglect and suffering of the people of Karachi.

The recent announcement is not the first one by the PM for improving the governance of and living in Karachi. Earlier this March, the PM had announced a rupees 162 billion development package for Karachi. It was supposed to improve public transport, water and sewerage infrastructure. But, Khan’s government is not the first one that has announced multi-billion development packages for the metropolitan. Virtually, every other government in the centre doles out hefty sums of money to construct mega-development projects for Karachi. A careful study of these cash injections shows that the urban development of the city on a modern scientific model is still an unfulfilled dream.

Before initiating any ‘comprehensive package’, the federal government needs to study the failures of all the previous multi-billion rupees development packages. Most of these packages focused on improving the transport issues of the city. True that transportation is a constant nuisance in the metropolitan. However, at the moment, it will be better if the government divert all its energies on improving the water drainage system of the city. It is the flawed water drainage system because of which life in Karachi comes to a standstill during monsoon seasons.

Furthermore, the federal government also needs to prioritise reforming the emergency response system. And last but not least is the issue of waste treatment. Karachi produces more than 13000 tonnes of waste every day. For such a massive quantum of debris, creating an advanced waste treatment system is the cry of the hour. Therefore, the federal government’s comprehensive package needs to be focusing on improving water drainage, emergency response and waste treatment systems.