PESHAWAR: The education department’s underground parking lot at the Civil Secretariat is not only a shelter for the cars of employees, but also a breeding ground for creatures with wings or webbed feet.
With all the stagnant rain and gutter water that has recently accumulated on the premises, it is hardly surprising frogs and mosquitos are abundant.
Parking has always been a major problem at the secretariat and even the spaces that exist are either covered in filth or have fallen apart, creating a nuisance for employees and visitors alike. Apart from the cars, the education department’s space provides a residence for policemen, a utility store and a room for photocopy machines.
“The parking lot is completely dark and you have to carry a torch to find your car and way,” says a driver who works at the information department.
For over two months, rainwater and leaking water from sanitation pipelines has accumulated in the lot. It has a single light which hangs over the room for the policemen who are posted at the secretariat. The place also doubles as their residence.
Requesting anonymity, the policemen say they are facing numerous problems as the stagnant water is providing a nursery for mosquitos. The officers added a contractor tried to repair the leaking sanitation pipeline, twice. However, the moment he was done, the leak sprang again and the situation worsened as gutter water has entered their living quarters.
Not fit for humans
Around 10 policemen live in a single room with iron boxes placed on tables to keep their clothes and valuables safe from the grime. Cleaning his cooking utensils, one of them was getting ready to prepare dinner. “Policemen are humans and deserve a [decent] place to sleep and eat,” said a constable. “We can’t protest or complain because it will only result in a suspension letter the next day.”
The constable finds the heaps of garbage and wrecked furniture strewn around to be a security hazard. “How could one find anything suspicious if it is placed in this garbage which is in any case in complete darkness?”
While his colleagues were taking a rest on the charpoys, he was getting ready for duty at the gate.
When approached, the estate section of the administration department says it has written to Communication and Works (C&W) about the issue, asking the authority to fix it. “We inform the relevant department if we get any complaint and this is indeed an issue,” said estate officer Usman Ali. “We also suffer whenever we park our cars or visit the utility store for a purchase.”
Published in The Express Tribune, July 11th, 2015.