Karachi : With a few days left in the ending of current fiscal year, the claims of Karachi Metropolitan Corporation for transparent utilization of funds seem implausible as non-functioning of traffic signals and faulty streetlights on major city streets raise doubts about optimal and proper spending on maintenance of civic infrastructure.
KMC allocated Rs 50 million for maintenance/installation of streetlights and Rs 65 million for repair and maintenance of traffic signals in the budget 2011-12; however, the city administration failed to keep both civic facilities in order to facilitate the citizens.
Various busy streets including one near Ziauddin Hospital Nazimabad, Liaqatabad Super Market Road, Saddar Dawakhana to Shahrah-e-Quaideen Underpass, University Road near Old vegetable market, Karsaz Road and some portions of M.A Jinnah Road have dysfunctional/faulty streetlights for many months.
While faulty traffic signals can be seen on major roads, including areas of Empress Market, Burns Road, Gulshan-i-Iqbal, North Nazimabad, Liaquatabad and Malirthat often contribute to massive snarl-ups on major thoroughfares.
According to defunct CDGK budget documents about 175 traffic signals are being operated in the city with 114 of them maintained by the Transport and Communication Department (TCD) for which Rs20 million was allocated in the year 2010-11 and the amount was trebled in the budget 2011-12 at Rs 65 million.
When contacted, a senior KMC official, requesting anonymity, said the recent changes in local government system disrupted the cash disbursement process that affected some uplift schemes. He said that matters were now being streamlined and by June 30 (the end of current fiscal year) all out-of-order street lights in signal free corridors and other such civic facilities would be repaired and made functional.