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Public Service Delivery in Pakistan

Public Service

Currently balanced public service delivery at urban and rural level is one of the biggest challenges in some of Asian countries however with proper planning the public service delivery can be improved. In developed countries, urban and rural areas are developed with the provision of equal facilities which discourage urbanization. Why people move to cities, every region have different reasons, climate change, industrialization, conflicts, climate change, lack of basic facilities in rural areas, job and business opportunities in cities etc.

Rural Areas of Pakistan

Limited resources and facilities in rural areas of Pakistan compel rural population to move to nearest or largest cities for better health, education, infrastructure, sanitation, jobs, business and other facilities. This internal migration creates lot of problems in urban areas and put pressure on available resources and facilities.

The majority of internally migrated population is almost raw handed and cannot adjust themselves in available job sector and business opportunities. They also do not have enough money and skills to start any reasonable business. As a result, Pakistan’s cities contribute much less to the economy compared to other developing countries. Without better urban planning to accommodate rapid growth, cities have the potential to become hotbeds of discontent and unrest rather than engines of growth and innovation.

The existing pressure of internally migrating population on urban available resources is creating lot of problems. All provincial and federal governments are facing challenges related to urbanization. Relevant public sector departments are unable to control the problems caused by this internal migration.

Role of Public Sector

The role of public sector departments in providing services to all cities is also not very satisfactory due to the rise in urban population. People move from rural to urban areas for better life and facilities. But currently situation is totally different in Pakistan. People in cities are suffering more as compare to rural areas. In villages population can have pure food, milk, fresh air and other necessities of life. The only thing that required is town planning and provision of basic facilities including health, education, sanitation and other utility facilities.

Although in cities, these facilities are available but due to the limited resources and high ratio of internal migration these resources are not sufficient for all citizens. Public sector hospitals and schools are badly over crowded. Sanitation and drainage systems are worst.

Our public sector departments are totally failed in providing basic facilities. The heavy rains, snowfalls and thunderstorms proved our managerial failure at different levels. Seasonal monsoon rains come every year but even then our relevant departments and management never bothers to plan that how to handle all these type of situations.

The sanitation problems of all large cities during the rainy seasons have proved that our relevant departments are badly failed in planning, management and execution of projects. Ironically, we are politicizing the issues and not ready to take the ownership or responsibility.

In urban areas, Public Health Engineering Department never consult relevant departments for proper planning and execution of new projects and simply hand over new projects without any resource and capacity building of those departments. Due to lack of capacity and resources, after couple of years these departments fail to maintain and run these types of projects. Same issues are also being faced in rural areas.

How we can reduce or stop internal migration. Town planning and better management of existing facilities in rural areas is very important to stop internal migration. Structure and facilities already existing in almost all rural areas but main issue is management. Professional capacity building of lower and managerial staff is need to be done to improve the service quality of these existing and new facilities.

On the other hand we also need to improve the same facilities in urban areas. Health education, infrastructure, sanitation and all other limited facilities exist but staff is unable to manage efficiently as lack of due diligence and sense of responsibility is causing the wastage of public funds.

About the author

Hasaan Murtaza Syed

The writer Hasaan Murtaza Syed is associated with global think tank Sustainable Development Policy Institute Islamabad Pakistan. He holds M.Sc degree in economics.

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