Despite the tall claims of the civic administration, not much was different in the city on this Eid from the previous one.
Taking benefit of the extended weekend and anticipating a long Eid hangover, majority of the schools in the Rawalpindi city were turned into slaughterhouses. Others were treated as dumping sites.
The street corners, commercial centres and road intersections were as usual dotted with the remains of sacrificial animals. Moreover, pools of blood and puddles of rainwater were a common sight as well.
Sacrificial animals were kept and subsequently slaughtered on the premises of the schools and colleges.
This has not only created sewerage, hygiene and environmental issues but also poses potential health problems.
The municipal administration had requested the residents to cooperate with its staff to dispose of the carcasses and remains of the sacrificial animals. But proper sanitation arrangements were not made in the city, said Ishtiaq Ahmad, a social worker. “Like previous year, Town Municipal Administration (TMA) staff failed to perform its duties,” he said. “Animals were slaughtered here and there; pools of blood could be seen on the roads with the offal scattered at various places,” he lamented.
Teachers told The Express Tribune that they could not stop anyone from using the college premises for slaughtering animals. They said that it was the responsibility of the authorities to prevent people from indulging in such practices.
On the other hand, Potohar Town TMA officials blamed the residents. An official said that it was also their responsibility to not throw offal and other waste on the roads or outside school and colleges. “People should not throw waste into drains, green areas and in garbage trolleys, but keep them at open places near their houses for easy collection by the sanitation staff,” he said.
An official of the city administration said that places were already assigned for slaughtering animals. “Usage of educational institutions for this purpose was a violation of the rules,” he said, adding that necessary arrangements were made to ensure cleanliness in the city. “Eid holidays of the entire sanitation staff were cancelled for this purpose,” he said.
Yasir Munir, a local, said, “After sacrificing the animals, we ensured complete cleanliness of the schools that were used for this purpose.” There was nothing wrong with the practice because during Eid holidays educational institutions remained close, he said. “We were paying an extra amount to the municipal staff to clean the sites,” he added.
However, principal of a school at Dhoke Ratta Amral expressed inability to save his school from becoming a slaughterhouse. “Like every year, it was quiet difficult for me to stop the people. There should be prescribed rules in this connection and authorities should ensure their implementation,” he said.
Published in The Express Tribune, November 10th, 2011.
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