City district assembly session starts with a protest

Members raise questions over encroachment, their own powers.

Saba Rani April 04, 2016
Peshawar District Assembly in session. PHOTO: PPI

PESHAWAR: The district assembly session did not start on a very good note on Monday as district members from Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf expressed their displeasure over Banamarhi Road. The route remains unpaved and causes problems during rain. Reservations were also voiced against encroachment, it was said the problem has not been solved yet.

“Residents of different areas in Peshawar, including Ramdas, Banamarhi and Ghanta Ghar, are facing many problems due to encroachments,” district opposition leader Saeed Zahir said during the session at District Council Hall. Members had tied black armbands to show they had taken issue with encroachments. “We want the deputy commissioner of Peshawar to take strict action against this problem.”

Zahir also demanded rangers be deployed in the city as the police failed to play their role in eliminating crime and terrorism.

Zahir added, “If the district government has announced an amount as a reward to kill rats, it is now their duty to pay the money.”

Right to power

A district member from PTI, Younas Zaheer, said more than six months have passed but they have not got their rights as elected members of the local government. “We do not have the right to sit here – people have [elected] us to solve their problems but the government does not want to empower district members,” he added. “It seems we gather here to waste our time.”

About the issue of schools being sealed in Hayatabad, a residential area, councillor Abdul Hashim said, “It is not only a problem for the school administration, but for thousands of students in the area.”

The issues we choose

A resolution was unanimously adopted in which five schools will be merged into one – all they need is a plot in Hayatabad.

The problem of load-shedding was also raised by Ijaz Khan of Garhi Sherdad. He said power outages which last almost 20 hours every day are not fair. About public transport, district member Safdar Baghi said no bus service has been initiated for students in the city. He added they travel hanging on to the back of buses to their educational institutes.

While answering questions of the members, Peshawar Deputy Commission Riaz Mehsud said the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa government has initiated many development projects. He assured the district members their problems would be resolved soon.

Published in The Express Tribune, April 5th, 2016.