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Islamabad: A tale of sectors beautiful and ugly

Whosoever coined the phrase – Islamabad the Beautiful – perhaps meant only the posh ‘E’ and ‘F’ series of sectors for that is where the Capital Development Authority’s focus continues to be.

The ‘G and ‘I’ sectors are a picture in contrast though and have for long been ignored by the authorities who for some strange reason keep meting out step-motherly treatment to these residential areas.

From dilapidated roads to faulty streetlights and from narrow streets to boiling gutters and acute water shortage – all is clearly not well with these low scale sectors where residents have learnt to live with such chronic problems, thanks to the CDA. “Water remains one of our biggest headaches as are the narrow streets that barely allow for two cars to pass through,” said Tariq Shah, a G-10/1 resident.

He thought that it went to show CDA’s lack of planning. “With each household having at least one or two cars these days, the situation has become quite difficult as people often park their vehicles out on the street,” he said.

The residents in these areas clearly have reasons to feel neglected for a trip down to ‘E’ or ‘F’ sectors would reveal the massive developmental gap that exists and continues to widen. “I see extensive landscaping going on along the new 7th Avenue but no one has ever thought about making our sector or roads beautiful,” pointed out Muhammad Rafiq of Sector I-9.

Tahir Ayub, the general secretary of Islamabad Wholesale Fruit Market complained that cleanliness had become a major problem with the buyers and sellers facing problems alike. “The sewage system has become obsolete because it is 30-years-old now,” he said.

Although the CDA plans to set up a new produce market in Sangjani, the existing one, he lamented had no health services for the labourers and traders existed and a police station established inside the market had complicated matters. He also spoke of encroachments, lack of public toilets and parking lots. The CDA, however, has almost always kept mum on why it continues to ignore these sectors, mostly home to the low-paid public. It is but evident that the people there just do not have the power to get things done, an ingredient that is found in abundance among those living in the posh sectors.

A resident of I-9 said that the F sectors were the ones that got all the attention as he complained of getting polluted water in the sector because of overflowing gutters. He also said that the streetlights were in a bad condition with only 30 percent of them being functional.

Maj ® Islam, of I-8/2 said that a nullah running through their sector stank making live difficult for the people. “We breathe foul air and despite requesting the CDA, nothing has been done,” he said.

Many residents feel that the CDA today has far too much on its platter and therefore cannot do justice to all the sectors. “It is becoming hard for them to handle the rapid growth,” said local Muhammad Jameel, who has seen the town grow.

CDA officials, however, disagree and claim that massive development was going on in many sectors and in the new fiscal year many projects were to be undertaken, among them development of new roads and several schemes within these sectors. “We have plans for all the sectors for which sufficient funds have been earmarked,” said one official.

Source: Daily Times

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