Open gutters on footpaths


Tayyaba Paracha

No doubt, maintaining the roads remains as the top responsibility of the government but the maintenance of footpaths is also as important as the former. Being a resident of the Asghar Mall, Rawalpindi, I happen to use the footpaths most of the times while running or walking to the bus stops. The thing about these sidewalks that really bothers me is the open and uncovered manholes of sewerage gutter openings that leave a 4-foot square hole on the passageway that can be a threat to kids or any one unconscious of the fact that the path lacks gutter coverings.
Although I have been using the paths for very long time, but in the evenings or on a rainy day, these foot walks are a life risk to walk on. Kids play around and run on these paths all day long and the walkways are also used by people who are not residents of the area and are unaware of the fact that the footpaths have a gutter opening every 3 to 4 feet. People nowadays mostly walk and simultaneously talk on mobile phones unaware of the surroundings and the broken footpaths and pathways, which is a constant threat to lives.
The concern is being expressed by the people of the area for such a long time, but no notice has been taken in order to fix the foot walks. Many incidents have occurred where children have fallen off in gutters and most of them were fortunate enough to be saved, but the silence of the authorities is an invitation to more accidents like these. The authorities defend this fault by blaming it on the thieves, mostly heroin junkies who steal the gutter lids and sell them. This issue can however be resolved if the gutters coverings are concrete made with little resale value so they are not that easy to be stolen.

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