Despite having the first-ever local body system in place, the federal capital is giving a shabby look due to stench emitting garbage heaps and overflowing sewers at its almost every market and bazaar.
The filthy markets of various sectors including G-6, G-7, G-8, I-9, I-8, H-9 and others are contrary to the present government’s slogan of ‘Clean, Green Pakistan’ due to bad sanitary conditions, civic agency inertia and lack of public awareness.
Markets like Melody, Sitara, Aabpara and Karachi Company have gradually lost their splendor where once residents of lower middle class thronged for food and shopping.
A number of shopkeepers also complained of declining business while criticizing the slackness of Metropolitan Corporation of Islamabad (MCI).
“When the first-ever local body got elected in Islamabad, I was confident that the basic amenities would be provided to the residents but I was wrong,” Mukhtar Ali, a shopkeeper in Karachi Company market said while expressing his dismay over the prevailing hygienic and sanitary condition.
Pointing out the irregular visits of sanitary workers, he said they dumped waste within the market vicinity and burnt when it turned into small mound.
The move disturbed the customer influx due to pungent smell of the smoke, he added. Shair Gul, another shopkeeper at Abpara Market narrating the same story said he had lodged several complaints at different forums but to no avail.
He urged the city managers to clean the markets twice a day and install a small bin outside every shop, besides placing at least one big dumpster outside every market to ensure neat and clean markets and Bazaars and launch sensitization campaign for visitors.
After installation of bins, Gul said the city administration must declare the markets and Bazaars as no-littering zones and take strict actions against violators.
“Once home, I use dust bin for dumping trash, but at markets I throw plastic wrappers away due to absence of trash bins,” Hassan Ali told APP when he was spotted littering at Melody Market, G-6.
“I know, littering in public spaces is a shameful act but what can I do when I do not have any other option,” he said while highlighting the shortage of waste bins in the market.
He asked the quarters concerned for placing the bins in every market to restore their beauty. Another visitor at Sitara market, Amir Maseeh said he along with his family used to sit at the market in evening but stinking heaps of garbage and stray dogs wandering in the search of food had forced them to stay at home.
Contrary to the ground situation, a senior official in Sanitation Department of the MCI claimed that the cleanliness drives were being carried out in every market of the city on regular basis.
He said the sanitation department was ensuring collection and disposal of garbage in Markaz of every sector of the capital city including sectors of G, H, I and F series.
The official said sixty per cent of the markets’ garbage comprised of green waste and collection of such type of trash was not the responsibility of sanitation wing of MCI, he added.