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Tuesday Jul 24 2018

NA-255 Karachi: The issues and expectations of constituents

KARACHI: Karachi's constituency NA-255 is one of the most important constituencies from the city which represents a population of over 750,000 people.

It covers a large area from Nazimabad to Liaquatabad and from Teen Hatti to Aurangabad, which makes it a multi-ethnic constituency with supporters for different parties.

According to statistics, the total population of the area covered in NA-255 is 755,412, and of them, 460,110 are registered voters; 255,753 of total voters in the constituency are male while the constituency has 204,357 female voters.

MQM’s Khalid Maqbool Siddiqi, PTI’s Mehmood Baqi Moulvi, ANP’s Arsalan Khan, PSP’s Ata-ul-Mustafa Jamil Rathore, and PPP’s Zafar Ahmed Siddiq are among a total of 15 candidates running for the National Assembly seat.

Sindh Assembly’s constituencies PS-127 and PS-128 also fall in the same vicinity. conducted a survey of the constituency to observe voters’ mood in the area, along with the problems faced by the constituents.

And with no surprise, problems in NA-255 were not different from the issues reported in other constituencies of Karachi.

One of the major problems, shared by the area residents, was the issue of water supply — a problem now being faced by almost every Karachiite.

“Water is the biggest issue here, at least in this area. We are forced to hire water tankers to fulfil our requirements of water and what adds insult to our injury is that no one really cares about us,” said a resident of Liaquatabad.

Delayed development work, including the ongoing Green Line bus service project, is also among things described as a problem by the voters of the area.

A busy street in Karachi's NA-255 constituency

“Whenever elections are near, show-off of development work is kicked off and it is never completed before the polls so that people are left with no choice but to re-elect the same people to get the work completed,” said another voter, while referring to incomplete Green Line project.

Residents also complained about the problem of cleanliness in the area. witnessed piles of garbage, making residents’ life miserable, in various areas of NA-255 from Liaquatabad to Nazimabad and towards Aurangabad.

“Hardly anyone comes to pick this garbage once in six months,” said a resident of Nazimabad No. 2.

The constituency, previously known as NA-247, was once a stronghold of Muttahida Qaumi Movement.

In 2013, MQM’s Sufyan Yousuf won from this constituency securing 125,443 votes, while PTI’s Rashid Siddiqi was runner-up with 35,240 votes.

However, this time Khalid Maqbool Siddiqi — the MQM’s candidate — is likely to face a tough challenge.

PTI’s Mehmood Baqi Molvi has emerged as a tough contender in the constituency, besides the emergence of the Pak Sarzameen Party (PSP), which may also pose a challenge to the MQM.

People are also, it seems, not too happy with previously elected candidates.

“See, what the PTI has done in KPK. In health sector and in terms of law and order, we have same problems in Karachi, so why don’t we give them a chance here,” said a young energetic voter from Liaquatabad, who will cast his vote for the first time.

While most of the problems highlighted by the constituents are directly connected with local government but voters seems to be under the strong impression that local government is directly under control of the provincial and national assembly, which is why they’re looking for electing someone who could work on the development of the area, without any discrimination.


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