Inadequate monsoon arrangements: Slum dwellers blame CDA, Islamabad administration

Perception remains that katchi abadi residents are second-class citizens

Express August 12, 2011

The All-Pakistan Alliance for Katchi Abadis has strongly criticised the Capital Development Authority (CDA) and the Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) administration for failing to make adequate arrangements to prevent flooding during the monsoon rains.

In a press release issued here on Thursday, the alliance blamed CDA and ICT administration for failing to offset the impacts of flash floods from Monday’s torrential downpour which caused significant damage to homes of katchi abadi (slum) dwellers across the federal capital. Monthly rations and many household appliances of at least 300 homes in France Colony (F-7/4), 100 Quarters (F-6/2), Shopper Colony (Khadda Market) and Miskeen Colony (G-8) were swept away during the downpour.

“CDA’s typical response that katchi abadi dwellers were ‘warned to leave their homes’ in advance of the floods speaks volumes for its perception that katchi abadi residents are second-class citizens,” the alliance said in the release.

The alliance’s chairperson, Aasim Sajjad Akhtar, said that majority of Islamabad’s katchi abadis are built on and around natural nullahs and every monsoon the dwellers are faced with a threat to property and life that has never been properly addressed. “Each incoming government raises populist slogans with regards to  rights and regularisation for katchi abadis, but well into the second decade of the 21st century, we are still living in subhuman conditions.”

The alliance has demanded CDA and the federal government to formulate a long-term policy that acknowledges the right of the capital’s katchi abadi dwellers of affordable shelter.

Published in The Express Tribune, August 12th, 2011.


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