Model Islamabad!

IT must be music for citizens of the Federal Capital that Minister for Planning and Development Ahsan Iqbal has revealed that the government plans to develop Islamabad as a modern city equipped with necessary infrastructure and modern transport facilities for the people. Speaking at the groundbreaking ceremony of a model jail, to be built in the Capital, he said that directions have been issued to build a mass transit system for the federal capital and work on Rawat Metro project will also be started next year.
Establishment of a jail in the Federal Capital was overdue as currently prisoners both from Rawalpindi and Federal Capital Territory are kept in the only prison at Adyala in Rawalpindi which has become very crowded. Though no details are available as to what the Federal Government plans in respect of setting up of a model prison in Islamabad but it is hoped that it would serve as a reformation centre as is the case elsewhere in the world. It should not turn out to be yet another prison of the country where prisoners become hardened criminals because of all sorts of activities going on there. Similarly, there is no or little attention on reforming the prisoners and making them a productive citizen once out from jail. This would require provision of necessary facilities like core skill training, literacy programmes, psychological counselling and constant monitoring by experts. As for other programmes that the Government intends to launch, Rawat-Jinnah Avenue segment of Metro Bus was announced by the former Prime Minister Mian Nawaz Sharif during launch of Rawalpindi-Islamabad Metro Bus Project. No doubt, the government has invested billions of rupees for expansion and improvement of Islamabad Expressway including construction of Dhoke Kala Khan, Koral and Khanna interchanges but there is ever-increasing rush on the Expressway because of growing number of housing schemes and use of personal transport by citizens. A decent mode of transport would dissuade travellers to use their own transport, thereby reducing burden and congestion of the Expressway. The Interior Minister might also take notice of the unrealistic and impracticable security barricades created at the most busiest traffic junction of the two cities i.e. Faizabad that has taken away the advantage of signal free corridor. How can one speak of turning Islamabad a model city when two vital bridges on Lehtrar Road are badly damaged for over a decade but CDA is least concerned to reconstruct them? Similarly, possibility of laying railway track along Expressway should also be seriously considered before the land is encroached upon or used without caring for future planning.

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