CHICHAWATNI: Local people are facing increasing problems because of encroachments, poor sanitation and drainage system and dilapidated roads and streets because of lack of maintenance and timely repairs.
The people facing difficulty in carrying on their routine activities because of deteriorating civic services accuse the municipal administration of negligence.
Although the municipal administration is responsible for most of the services, three main highways pass through the city, including bypasses and the National Highway.
The Southern Bypass from Alghani Chowk to the Chishti Chowk, the Burewala Road along a flyover and the Okanawala Road leading from the City Bridge to Southern Bypass are in the worst condition.
The main reason is that when the sewerage system is damaged, rainwater and sewage usually accumulate on the roads. Over time, due to lack of timely repair, this water starts damaging the roads and ultimately creates craters.
The potholes and carters not only disturb the flow of traffic but also often cause accidents. Besides, commuters remain stuck in traffic jams for hours because of encroachment on both sides of the roads.
The dilapidated condition of the roads causes wastage of time and fuel for the people as well as the risk of accidents.
On the other hand, the authorities appear to neglect public welfare schemes on the pretext of shortage of funds.
Elected public representatives as well as officers of the municipal and district administration and the highway department have apparently failed to pursue the provision of adequate facilities for the local people.
One of the worst examples of negligence is the flyover built in the city nearly three decades ago, whose condition is worsening due to lack of maintenance. Expenses of millions of rupees are required for the repair of the dilapidated flyover.
A number of other important welfare schemes are also suffering due to apathy of the authorities concerned. Most of these schemes require urgent allocation of funds.
However, proposals for grants for projects which are estimated to cost millions of rupees have been rejected. As a result, the construction work is likely to be delayed despite concerns expressed by the residents.
When the local administration was contacted, it blamed lack of funds for the situation.
Ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leader Roy Hassan Nawaz Khan and Member of National Assembly Rai Murtaza Iqbal Khan said a grant of millions of rupees has been approved for repair and development schemes this year, on which work will begin soon.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 16th, 2020.