For 9 years, the Safe City Project to improve security concerns in Karachi has been on hold—resulting in the amplification of the total cost of the initiative by twice as much. Given that Karachi was ranked as the sixth most dangerous city according to the World Crime Index (WCI), any further delays should be deemed as unacceptable for the sake of public protection, economic feasibility and government fulfilment of responsibility.

Presiding over a meeting at his house, Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah highlighted the dire need for the prompt implementation of a more comprehensive Safe City Project. Accordingly, the objective of the scheme is to increase vigilance and attempt to control crime through the use of automated systems, improvements in traffic management and encouraging immediate action by authorities. This type of e-policing, involving the installation of 10,000 CCTV cameras as well, would make the system much more efficient as possibilities of facial recognition and movement tracking materialise. Considering the promising prospects of this crime-control strategy, all causes for delay or hesitations in implementation should evaporate.

Perhaps the only barrier for implementation that remains is the exorbitant price tag that this initiative comes along with. Rs20 billion dollars is hefty but one must be cognisant of the fact that a relaxed attitude is what has gotten us here. If authorities remain from changing their ways then we can only expect matters to get much tougher. The result of this would be a lost opportunity for all—the people who have to live in an anarchic city where criminals face little to no accountability or a government that has to make compromised decisions due to economic restrictions, thereby losing the confidence of the public due to inaction as well.

Acknowledging the right issues, prioritising them correctly and maximising efforts to achieve stated objectives should be the focus of the government since ensuring the safety of its citizens is its primary duty.