All-Pakistan Alliance for Katchi Abadis and Awami Workers Party (AWP) leaders have called for preventive measures to protect the capital’s slums from devastation during the ongoing monsoon season.
Katchi abadis are at risk of destruction during the rains, with incidents of deaths and damage reported during July.
AWP Rawalpindi General Secretary Shehak Sattar said the recent rains have affected slums in sectors I-11 and H-10 and mud structures are in danger of further damage from rains predicted in the future.
The Alliance representatives criticised the PML-N government for its neglect of the katchi abadis, claiming the former has not only ignored the urban poor but also targeted them in selected anti-encroachment drives.
The Capital Development Authority (CDA) maintains some slum dwellers have exposed themselves to damage from flash flooding by building illegal structures near storm water drains. People living in the slums, on the other hand, claim that CDA enforcement staff allow them to build mud structures in return for pay offs — an illegal practice on the agency’s part.
The slum dwellers will continue to be at risk of death and destruction until the government develops a plan to permanently house working-class residents of the city, said alliance members.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 8th, 2013.
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