Quetta’s Housing Conundrum

Published on – June 29, 2020 – 8:00 am
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urban Planning and Development is an important aspect for cities that attract large populations owing to various reasons ranging from facilities of education, health to employment. While the urban population of the world is rapidly increasing, the pace of urbanization in Pakistan is also in a good momentum for the past few decades. There are many factors which are increasing the urban population and major among them is employment. Balochistan is largely a rural settlement.


urban Planning and Development is an important aspect for cities that attract large populations owing to various reasons ranging from facilities of education, health to employment. While the urban population of the world is rapidly increasing, the pace of urbanization in Pakistan is also in a good momentum for the past few decades. There are many factors which are increasing the urban population and major among them is employment. Balochistan is largely a rural settlement.

However, Quetta city can be regarded as the only urban settlement that offers all the required facilities in demand by the populations currently. The administrative headquarters of all departments, the legislative assembly of the province, the medical college, the provincial Public Service Commission, the universities and the hospitals with a better performance graph are all here in Quetta which has positioned it into a magnet pull factor for the people from all across the province as well as from the neighbouring Afghanistan, specifically for health facilities.

According to the census 2017, the population of Quetta is more than 2.2 million heads. Provision of housing facilities to so many people in a valley whose expanse is limited by two mountain ranges from East and West is a challenging task. Hence, issues of traffic, overcrowded schools, hospitals and markets is a common place observation. One of the major issues that the city is facing is that of housing. Many people who cannot buy houses or plots in the city, have resorted to rented homes and the people involved in the business of rented homes have made big business of the compulsion of people.

Poorly constructed houses, congested streets and lacking water facility can be seen in all the slum as well as the main city catchments where the owners charge the tenants at will. The District Administration only requires credentials of the tenants residing in these rented homes but do not fulfill the responsibility of fixing the rates for rents against the facilities provided to the tenants. Hence many poor families in remote districts of Balochistan are under the burden of rented homes owing to compulsion of education of children and access to other civic facilities in the city.

Mostly students hailing from different parts of Balochistan, who are dependent on their families for meeting their expanses, are seen renting rooms in plaza like closed buildings in all locations of the city. The building owners are making money out of the pocket money of students but have also failed to provided them required facilities.

The district administration must look into the matter of this poor section of society who are unable to buy homes but have to stay in city for the bright future of their children in rented homes. It must gather record of all the rented houses in the city and visit their buildings for relevant facilities and if they fail to provide facilities, they must be punished. The district administration must also regulate their rents according to the value of property so that relief could be provided to the most ignored sections.