Unappetising view: Restaurants more of a nightmare than pleasure

Published: May 5, 2014
"CDA, PHA and TMA work hand-in-hand to clean the area before the arrival of any foreign dignitary, but they conspire to leave a stench in the air after the VIP is gone,” laments Muhammad Baqir from Dhoke Lilyal. PHOTO: APP/FILE

"CDA, PHA and TMA work hand-in-hand to clean the area before the arrival of any foreign dignitary, but they conspire to leave a stench in the air after the VIP is gone,” laments Muhammad Baqir from Dhoke Lilyal. PHOTO: APP/FILE

Roadside eateries, tea stalls, corner restaurants, basement cafeterias, and dining halls that have transformed Rawalpindi into a culinary park include some unusual spaces that have been transformed by restaurateurs.

Such places — small and grungy, able to hold only a small number of people who must order off equally small menus — are mushrooming and gaining popularity. The aroma coming out of them attracts passersby. But that isn’t what makes them unique. That ‘quality’ is the garbage piles beside them.

“I’m face-to-face with piles of garbage dumped on Shah Khalid Colony Service Road. This can’t be it. It just can’t. Who would run a restaurant from here? Surprisingly, it is being run by Bao Ji and Sain Ji, Kozi Haleem, Chaghi Restaurant and others,” says Farhan Rizvi, munching at a piece of roasted chicken at Sain Ji.

“Recently when the South Korean prime minister visited here, the piles of garbage were temporarily removed and the road was temporarily decorated with flowers, but the garbage reappeared soon after he left the country,” says Fakhar Abbas from Faisal Town.

“When I am in my city, I always look for places to eat that are nearby and do not trap visitors. I found such a place at Sain Ji.  The food was good, but I had to apologise to my guests for having taken them there because on the way back home, they had to bear unbearable stench,” says Rizwan Ali, a resident of Tajabad.

“My meal order was cooked to perfection by Bao Ji and was very well priced. Their claim to fame lived up to my expectations. I really enjoyed it. The only negative aspect was the garbage heap nearby,” says Kazim Reza from Dhoke Hafiz.

“Going to any commercial or residential area in the city is always frustrating. There we are, rubbing noses with garbage heaps. Finding places to properly dispose of garbage is the greatest challenge the city fathers are facing. Despite cleanliness drives every year, the city remains the same,” says Saqlain Haider, a businessman.

“This airport link road prides itself on being a VVIP road, but the messy roadside, unkempt green space, untidy road dividers and murky water tell a different story.

The Capital Development Authority (CDA), Parks and Horticulture Authority (PHA) and Tehsil Municipal Administration (TMA) work hand-in-hand to clean the area before the arrival of any foreign dignitary, but they conspire to leave a stench in the air after the VIP is gone,” laments Muhammad Baqir from Dhoke Lilyal.

“The garbage crisis has nothing to do with development, but more with lack of planning. The situation must be treated as a public health emergency. The city authorities should try to improve sanitation in the town,” says Hasan Alvi, a doctor.

“I have been told that the contract with the Tehsil Municipal Administration (TMA) for disposing garbage here has expired, but the dumping is continuing. The city authorities should regularly take a round of the town. If they visit, marketplaces, streets, roads and parks, they will find that sanitation is not up to the mark. Cleanliness drives must be made a regular feature,” says Adnan Zulfiqar, a resident of Tajabad.

“I have had trouble with the city civic bodies the most. They over-promise and under-deliver. They will tell you what you want to hear but never solve the problem,” says Hamza Taqi from Chaghi Restaurant.

“It seems that civic bodies are unaware that finding new sites to dump garbage is only part of the solution. They should set up new landfills as a substitute,” says Imam Hasan Zaidi, a college lecturer.

Published in The Express Tribune, May 5th, 2014.

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Reader Comments (14)

  • Tehmin Azad
    May 6, 2014 - 9:43AM

    This write-up from ET has done well by awakening the TMA which has removed the garbage from Dhoke Hafiz service road overnight, but one thing remains to be done, to build a proper sewerage system before the monsoon onset to avert road flooding. Shah Khalid Colony and Dhoke Hafiz sewerage water has no proper outlet, thus the service road gets inundated with a small rain spell creating trouble for the surrounding localities like Tajabad and Fazal Town Phase-I. CDA and PHA also need to overhaul themselves.


  • Naz Ali
    May 8, 2014 - 9:39AM

    My area Dhoke Kashmirian also needs TMA attention. Fine people who throw garbage on the road or street. Perhaps TMA has enough funds, so they don’t bother.


  • Khawaja Asim
    May 8, 2014 - 9:45AM

    Tench Bhata restaurants and tea stalls also have enough piles of trash in front, but who cares? Pindiites are used to it. Is there any place in the city free of stinking waste material?


  • Ahmad
    May 11, 2014 - 1:29AM

    TMA’s action against garbage throwers on Khalid Colony’s service is quite laudable. I hope it will extend this trend to other areas of the city. Will TMA take steps to stop the midnight dumpers of garbage?


  • Anika Hussain
    May 11, 2014 - 9:27AM

    Let the restaurant owners decide for themselves if they can do their bit to keep the surroundings clean. If they can keep their restaurant interiors clean why not ensure that it is extended outside.


  • Shazi
    May 11, 2014 - 9:43AM

    Everyday, a civic body vehicle comes to pick up the garbage from the fronts of Kashmiri Bazaar eateries. However, if the bags are torn or if the area is littered, they do not bother to pick it up.Recommend

  • Anum Rafique
    May 12, 2014 - 8:26AM

    Why restaurant proprietors never get tired of the garbage and mess near their business place? They must have contracts with the garbage disposal bodies. The garbage often piled near the restaurants gives negative message about them.Recommend

  • Nadiya Shah
    May 12, 2014 - 9:08AM

    In areas similar to Pir Wadhai, Dhoke Mangtal, shops and roadside eateries dump their waste on the roads and streets, with a conviction that the civic body will clean up their leftovers before their day began.Recommend

  • Saima Kanwal
    May 12, 2014 - 9:28AM

    There are huge piles of trash on Jamia Masjid Road next to restaurants. The garbage piles continue to grow with the area residents, shop owners and passers-by throwing their trash there. The condition in the evening is not better than the situation in the morning.Recommend

  • Maryam Khan
    May 13, 2014 - 4:33PM

    A bag filled with garbage was lying open on the road outside the eatery on Khanna Road. Cows were seen feasting on it. The scene was jus nauseating.Recommend

  • Suleman
    May 13, 2014 - 4:46PM

    Piles of garbage line the College Road road where several eateries are located. Throughout the city the space near and around the shuttered shops and unoccupied buildings is becoming a popular place to dump garbage.Recommend

  • Qanbar Rizvi
    May 13, 2014 - 5:07PM

    Why are we making the fronts of our homes and businesses ugly by dumping garbage? It has never remained our concern. The dirty scenes of garbage heaps all over the city outside houses, shops and eateries especially in the old parts of the city like Lal Kurti, Mohanpura, Ratta Amral, Bhabra Bazaar. Landa Bazaar, Kohati Bazaar, Purana Qila, Gunjmandi, Bagh Sardaran etc.are really shocking.Recommend

  • Shamama Shah
    May 15, 2014 - 10:33PM

    There was garbage strewn on the road opposite a restaurant on Liaquat Road, When the restaurant management was contacted, they denied throwing any garbage on the road. Only God knows the fact, His creature doesn’t.Recommend

  • Usman Hiraj
    May 15, 2014 - 10:43PM

    How can we do this to our own city? How shameful!Recommend

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