Forgotten periphery: Civic problems aplenty, a change that never came

Over 0.1 million people in Bhara Kahu lack all basic amenities.

Sehrish Wasif May 08, 2013
Kaleemullah said that the area residents had been facing water scarcity for the last 10 years. PHOTO: FILE

ISLAMABAD: Every time before the elections, political leaders make tall claims of carrying out development work in their constituencies, soon after they are no where to be seen. Same has been true in Bhara Kahu, according to the locals, for the last many elections.

A locality of over 0.1 million people on the very outskirt of the capital, the area still lacks all basic amenities such as natural gas, roads, clean drinking water, garbage disposal and decent public transport facilities.

The locality, which is only 15-minute drive from the Parliament House and also hometown of Chairman Senate Nayyar Hussain Bukhari, is in the quagmire of issues.

“Everyday my daughters have to fetch water from a nearby well and during summers it becomes even worse. Before elections, candidates from all political parties make tall claims of laying water pipelines for the purpose, but soon they forget everything,” said Shakira Bibi, a resident of Chaudhriyon ka Muhalla.

Kaleemullah, who has been living in Shah Pur for the last 15 years, said that the area residents had been facing water scarcity for the last 10 years and there was no let-up in their woes.

He said that there was not a single water filtration plant in the entire locality.

Shah Hussain Shahid and Samina Gul, residents of Sheri Chowk and PTV Colony respectively, lamented the non-availability of gas in their areas which forces them to fight the biting cold, especially in winters.

“We do not have gas but our neighbour has it because he is a jiyala (PPP supporter),” Shahid claimed.

Meanwhile, other area residents complained about lack of proper garbage collection system, parking facilities and encroachments which often create traffic jams.

“There is an urgent need to construct a pedestrian bridge at Uthal Chowk,” said Mohammad Ali, a shopkeeper.

Bhara Kahu falls in NA-49 and candidates contesting from the constituency have their own tale to tell.

Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz candidate for NA-49, Dr Tariq Fazal Chaudhry, who was elected from the constituency last time, blamed the absence of a local body system for the woes facing the residents of rural areas.

A PPP candidate for NA-49, Mustafa Nawaz Khokar, said that, his party did a lot of developmental work in Bhara Kahu in the last five years. Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf for NA-49, Chaudhry Ilyas Mehrban, said that his party leader Imran Khan has already announced to hold local body elections soon after they were voted to power. “Once the local government system is in place, funds will trickle down to the grassroots level to address the issues of rural areas,” he said.

Published in The Express Tribune, May 9th, 2013.


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