Roads in poor shape, water pipelines leaking
Islamabad—Almost two months have passed when on June 14, Interior Ministry formally notified the Islamabad Metropolitan Corporation (IMC) and the new chief executive of the corporation, Mayor of Islamabad, took over the civic affairs of the city and made a number of promises with the residents of the city. These promises included a decent package of peaceful living and restoration of Islamabad’s green and clean character. However, despite sincere intentions of the Mayor, Sh Ansar Aziz and his team, the city continues to present a pathetic picture. Sadly, during the initial sixty days under the IMC, the federal capital’s infrastructure has gone from bad to worse—roads are poorer than before, streetlights continue to be faulty, traffic signals are dysfunctional and water pipelines leaked.
Pakistan Observer during a survey of various sectors of Islamabad came to learn that roads in Sectors ‘G’ ‘H’ and ‘I’ series are in bad condition and motorists as well as pedestrians are facing difficulties due to ditches and crevices in every other road. At some points, as in G-8 sector, water is gushing out of the underground pipelines damaging the roads and causing great inconvenience for the residents. Similarly, in the same sector, a small patch of road in front of the Police 15 office is under construction for the last two months but it seems there is no end to its rebuilding/reconstruction.
In Sector H-8, I-9 and E-11 similar complaints are made and some of the residents think since they voted for PTI in the last election, the Mayor’s office is ignoring their sectors. Others think since these sectors are generally considered residential localities of the low working and middle classes, focus of development is always at the ‘F’ and E series. In the past, Capital Development Authority (CDA) proved that it is meant to safeguard the elite of the city alone. Now unfortunately, the Mayor’s office is adopting the same attitude, said a resident of G-8, Naila while talking to Pakistan Observer. Our Mayor seems to be an honest, visionary and knowledgeable person and we hope he will pay attention to the problems being faced by the locals, she said.
In its over-50-year history, administration of Islamabad will be run by the people’s own representatives rather than by stiff-necked bureaucrats, said Munir an NGO worker living in Chak Shahzad. Munir is a fan of Mian Nawaz Sharif and had voted those who had contested local government elections under PML-N ticket. However, he is skeptical that so far the office of the Mayor of Islamabad has done nothing excepting installing boards at different points in the city that give list of emergency numbers.
It may be mentioned that among the departments that have come full under the umbrella of IMC include Directorate of Health Services, Rescue 1122, the district municipal authority, sports and culture, CDA hospital and school, security, IT management, Bulk Water Management, water supply directorate, sewerage treatment plant, machinery pool organization, environment (east and west), sanitation, electrical and mechanical departments. Mayor of IMC Sheikh Ansar Aziz when contacted agreed roads were in poor shape and the damage had been done by the previous agency looking after the civic and municipal matters (obviously a reference to CDA). “We have inherited Islamabad with a number of chronic problems including roads, water and municipal problems. But we are determined to face these challenges,” he said. About roads uplift, he said funds have not yet been provided to the IMC and added as soon as IMC gets the funds it will chalk out a mega uplift plan of roads infrastructure.