Karachi Mayor Wasim Akhtar Saturday said municipal system was the only way to solve the basic problems of people and making democracy strong. “However, those who ruled country in the past never believed on making institutions strong or decentralizing powers and resources to the grassroots level,” he said while talking to a delegation of elected representatives from Abbottabad who called on him in his office. “Feudal approach is the biggest hurdle in the progress of the country. MPAs and MNAs should do law making because real progress cannot be achieved without transfer of powers and resources to the local bodies,” he added. “Unfortunately, so-called democracy-loving parties did not want to hold local government elections in the country, and though elections were held on the directives of the Supreme Court, these primary institutions were made ineffective by withholding their financial and administrative powers,” the mayor lamented. “18th Amendment was aimed at devolution of powers to the grassroots level. Though powers were transferred from Centre to provinces but were never further shifted to the local governments,” he continued. The mayor said the city of Karachi has a lot of problems and the federal and provincial governments were taking no interest in solving them. He warned that the city was going to have a big crisis of potable water as the K-IV project may not be completed even in next five years. He said circular railway project was also dumped. “We found Prime Minister Imran Khan concerned on Karachi problems, but he will also face shortage of funds,” he added. The mayor welcomed the delegation from KP and said that such visits help learn from each other’s experiments. “Karachi has always welcomed the people coming here.” Published in Daily Times, January 13th 2019.