What constituents expect from councillors

Residents discuss long-standing issues in their respective areas


Residents discuss long-standing issues in their respective areas.

LAHORE:


Walton cantonment: Ward 1 residents upbeat about elections


The residents of Ward 1 of the Walton Board are upbeat at being represented in the cantonment board after 20 years.

The ward comprises Sultan Park, Gulbahar Colony, Madina Colony and Islamnagar. It also includes the upscale Cavalry Ground, along with its commercial extensions near the 7-Up railway crossing.

“The condition of the streets is much better now. There is no security problem or major issue troubling us,” says Arshad Khan, who runs a small store on Street 7 in the Officers’ Colony. “I am going to vote for a man who lives here and understands our issues,” he says.

A few streets in the Officers’ Colony were repaired just last week. Muhammad Hamid, a resident of the area, says the development is welcome. “If this is what makes them start development work, so be it. I do not mind if this is being done to influence the election campaign,” he says.

Walton cantonment: Filtration plants, street repairs needed in Ward 2

Residents of areas falling in Ward 2 identify installation of water filtration plants and repair of streets as their most urgent municipal needs.

Mian Ranjha, who claims to be a resident of the area for 40 years, says if the elected board can arrange potable water in the area he will be satisfied with its performance.

Some other residents The Express Tribune talked to in the area express ignorance about what an elected councillor could do for them. Akbar Khan, a Nishat Colony resident, says there has never been a local election in the area as far as he can remember. “I am not sure about the exact responsibilities of my councillor,” he says.

The ward includes Nishat Colony, Mariam Colony, New Super Town, RA Bazaar areas besides A and D blocks of DHA Phase-1.

Walton cantonment: Charrar residents complain about poor hygiene, clogged sewers

Residents of Charrar village complain about frequent outbreaks of water-borne diseases amongst children in the area. They blame clogged sewers for this.

Besides Charrar village, Ward 3 includes Keer village and Blocks E, J, K, L, M, N and P of DHA Phase 1. Charrar village has been separated from areas falling in DHA Phase-1 through a boundary wall.

Rasheeda Bibi, who has a small charpoy mending business, says one of her eight children is always suffering from a water-borne disease. She blames clogged sewers for their poor health. She says there is no playground in the village so her children play in the street outside her house which is flooded with sewer water all the time. She says the flooding worsens in the monsoon season. She also complains about uncovered drains in the village.

Mohammad Akram Bhatti, another Charrar village resident, says there is just one filtration plant in the area. He says he cannot recall any development work undertaken in the area by the Cantonment Board.

Walton cantonment: Ward 4 wants degree college for girls besides roads and sewer repairs

Residents of areas falling in Walton Cantonment Board’s Ward 4 identify lack of a degree college for girls and poor condition of sewers and roads as their major problems.

Besides DHA Phase-2, the Ward 4 includes the Sui Gas Colony and colonies along the Bedian Road and near Bhatta Chowk.

Farhan Ali, a Bhatta Chowk resident, says roads connecting housing colonies with Bedian Road need major repairs. He says sewers and roads have never been repaired in the areas.

Aslam Bhatti, another Bhatta Chowk resident, says the condition of roads in the ward worsens as one moves away from areas that fall the DHA.  He says due to lack of maintenance of sewers, roads in his locality flood with water whenever there is significant rainfall.

Muhammad Hussain Shehzad complains about the lack of a degree college for women in the area. He says girls from most families have to end their education after high school because of the lack of such a facility in the area.

Walton Cantonment : Ward 5 needs health, sanitation facilities 

“There used to be a dispensary in our area, but it was turned into a dengue control centre a while back, Salman Ayub, a resident of Peter Gill Colony, says.

Residents of Ward 5, Walton Cantt, complain about a lack of safe drinking water, dispensaries and emergency services, and road infrastructure in their area.

Ayub says there is no clinic or emergency centre in his area that residents could visit for first aid treatment.

Rana Safdar, a resident of LDA Quarters, says the Walton Board has always turned a blind eye to their problems. He says there is no safe drinking water supply where he lives. “The people here feel a real disconnect with their elected representatives.”

Living in the outskirts of Cavalry Ground and Defence Housing Authority, most of the residents of the ward say development projects have never made it to where they live. Broken roads, lack of basic facilities pertaining to education, health and sanitation plague this ward, they say.

Walton Cantonment : Hakuna matata: Ward 6

Most of the residents The Express Tribune spoke to say they are satisfied with the development work in their area.

Chaudhry Sajjad, one of the residents, says the government initiated a lot of development projects in their area – a college for boys and carpeted roads are only two of them.

He says they aren’t expecting much from local bodies since other elected representatives from their area have already “won hearts”.

Walton Cantonment : Ward 7 needs a spring clean

Heaps of garbage and litter lie at random in areas under Ward 7 of the Walton Cantonment, residents say.

Baber Khan, one of the residents, says sewerage lines have been clogged with litter in several locations. “Such problems need to be addressed on priority…they can lead to a host of health-related issues,” he says.

Gulzar Ali, who runs a shop in Ward 7, thinks of these elections as a waste of time and money. “We need health facilities, schools and better sewerage facilities…if elected MNAs and MPAs have failed to change things here, I doubt that local councillors can do much.”

Lahore cantonment: Unelected board doing just fine for us: Ward 7

Residents of several localities falling in Lahore Cantonment Board’s Ward no 7 say there are no major civic problems in their areas.

In Koray Pind, Iqbal Park, Super Town, Qadari Colony and Yasrab Colony, most people The Express Tribune has talked to say sewers are working properly and there are no roads requiring major repairs. They are also satisfied with the availability of potable water.

Iftikhar Kamaran Sindhu, a Koray Pind resident, says he believes the presence of elected representatives in the board will not have any major effect on municipal administration. “The Cantonment Board administration is taking good care of the ward,” he says.

Besides private housing schemes and a revenue village, Ward No7 includes six blocks of the Defence Housing Authority.

Lahore cantonment: Roads, sewers are in a poor state, says Ward 8

The residents of newly developed private housing schemes like Gulistan and Yasin Town complain about the dismal condition of roads and sewers in their areas. They say many roads in the area need major repairs. They say the sewers get clogged whenever there is significant rainfall.

Ward 8 also includes DHA phase-IV and Punjab Society.

Walton cantonment : Ward 9 needs drinking water supply

For residents of Ward 9, Walton Cantt, lack of drinking water, parks and dispensaries are key concerns which they hope the elected local representatives of their areas will address.

Politicians campaign here every few years and promise the moon, residents say. “But they never deliver.”

Malik Adnan, one of the residents, says there is no municipal water supply in Street 2 or other streets near Bodi Wala Qabristan. He says most of the residents have to travel to other areas to bring water in large bottles from a water filtration plants. “A lot of my neighbours say that they won’t vote for any of the candidates as they don’t believe they can solve these problems.”

Shafqat Ali, another resident of the area, recalls the campaign for the 2013 general elections. “They were just words…politicians are all talk,” he says.

Walton Cantonment : Ward 10 needs a sewerage overhaul

“You can smell the sewage in the water from our taps,” says Muhammad Ali Dogar, a disgruntled resident of Ward 10, Walton Cantonment.

Several residents of the ward The Express Tribune talked to agree. They said the problem has plagued them for several years. They say sewage seeps into their water supply pipes and renders it unfit for consumption.

For Muhammad Usman, another resident, the fact that there is no water filtration plant in the area is a major inconvenience. “I ride my motorcycle to another locality to fill water bottles every day.” He says they have been complaining about this for several years. “They can’t even ensure safe drinking water supply for us, I really don’t expect much from the local bodies.”

Other residents point at a shortage of graveyards, public schools, street lights and dispensaries in their areas.

Mian Salman says they want separate schools for boys and girls in their area.

Most of the residents interviewed say they have no confidence in any of the candidates contesting the election.

Muhammad Mudassar, another resident of the area, says they have visited the local MPA’s office to complain about the lack of water filtration plants and defective sewerage system. “None of the issues have been addressed.”

Lahore Cantonment : Ward 10 needs roads

Poor road infrastructure, poor sewerage system, lack of safe drinking water and dispensaries remain key concerns for the residents of Ward 10 of Lahore Cantt.

Rana Abdul Ghaffar, a resident of the area, says Defence Housing Authority and most areas in Lahore Cantt have carpeted roads and street lights. “Our constituency has neither,” he says. “Roads in our area are littered with potholes and have been dug up in some areas.”

He says they expect the elected local body to ensure decent roads in their area. “We don’t even have a dispensary in our area,” he says.

Ghulam Ahmed, another resident of the area, says, “My mother died on the way to the hospital because the ambulance got stuck in a pothole. We couldn’t reach the hospital on time.”

He says there is no dispensary in his area and they have to travel a considerable distance to see a doctor or buy medicines.

Lahore Cantonment : Schools in Ward 9 need new furniture

Residents of Ward 9 of Lahore Cantt say their biggest issues are lack of proper education facilities, sewerage system and safe drinking water.

Akbar Meo, one of the residents of the constituency, says his six-year-old daughter was admitted to a hospital from drinking water contaminated with sewage that seeps into the water supply pipes. He says there is no water filtration plant in the area he lives in. Peter Gill, who studies in grade 6 at a public school in Gohawa, tells The Express Tribune that his school doesn’t have proper educational facilities. “Our school has no walls and we have to sit on broken down benches,” he complains.

Published in The Express Tribune, April 23rd, 2015.

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