Islamabad presents a picture of utter neglect Untrimmed grass, stray dogs, heaps of garbage disfiguring capital’s beauty

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Zubair Qureshi

Federal capital these days is presenting a picture of utter neglect and indifference by those who are responsible to manage its municipal affairs.
Although there are no smoke-emitting vehicles nor overcrowded markets (thanks to coronavirus scare) nor roads and streets littered with shopping bags, empty cans or other filth and the Metropolitan Corporation of Islamabad (MCI) sanitary workers have nothing much to do to clean the city yet the city is crumbling under filth and waste accumulated for last three or four months.
Take Kashmir Highway and Lake View Park for instance. The highway connecting the federal capital with Murree from one side leading to Rawalpindi from the other and intersecting the Islamabad Highway at the Zero Point Interchange is in a miserable state as the pavements along the road are broken, ditched and the city’s main artery is dilapidated, in such a poor state that it can cause severe accident(s) any time.
Besides, traffic signals are also dysfunctional and people can be seen crossing the road on foot risking their as well as the motorists lives. Earlier there used to be traffic constables regulating the traffic at various points on this road but now they too have perhaps quarantined themselves and gone into isolation.
Lake View Park has also turned into a house of ghosts with grass overgrown across the iconic park of Islamabad. The park where families used to come before corona virus struck to spend time and enjoy the cool breeze coming from Rawal Dam is now a favourite place for the stray dogs and animals.
While talking to Pakistan Observer Lateef a resident living nearby, said at the time of night these dogs come to the roads and residential areas in search of food.
They keep barking all the night and sometime in their frenzy attack the children who are playing in the streets. “Fortunately, there are no incidents of dog bite so far but in case they bite our children how can we take them to hospital where neither doctors will pay attention because of coronavirus nor we shall be comfortable,” said Lateef.
With a number of sectors sealed and residential areas under strict lockdown, Islamabad is left to the mercy of God and the authorities—MCI, CDA or ICTA—whoever they are least mindful of their responsibilities to upkeep the city and keep the municipal affairs in good order.
An official of the MCI when contacted requesting anonymity said, Mayor of Islamabad Sheikh Ansar Aziz is presently caught up in a legal war with the Adviser to PM on CDA Affairs Ali Nawaz Awan for power and authority and the city is paying a heavy price for this tug-of-war between the two.