Providing Public Services a Challenge for Karachi's Mayor

<p>Tackling urban infrastructure problems in Karachi, Pakistan, is an uphill battle for Mayor Syed Mustafa Kamal. With few services, continuing violence and a rising population, he has his work more than cut out for him.</p>
June 3, 2008, 12pm PDT | Nate Berg
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"Syed Mustafa Kamal says he wants to reshape his sprawling, dirty city once known for its green, leafy parks. Since the population exploded, it has become better known for neighborhoods that stretch for miles in every direction."

"To do so, he must overcome a legacy of bad government - and violence."

"Karachi is Pakistan's financial capital and its major seaport. The equivalent of billions of dollars move through the city, yet public services are so sporadic that the electricity goes out daily in hot weather, and many residents have had to dig their own sewers."

"Kamal ordered the city to speed up construction of highways and bridges. Now, he says, 600 new cars hit Karachi's roads each day."

"Even critics have praised the mayor's effort, though a recent study by an independent group questioned whether traffic really is easing."

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Published on Tuesday, June 3, 2008 in NPR
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