Islamabad : The residents of G-14/4, mostly hailing from Quaid-i-Azam University (QAU), have complained that they pay all their taxes and dues regularly, yet they are doomed to live under miserable conditions.
Teachers and employees of QAU Staff Housing Schemes were initially allotted land under 90-year lease at the campus near Murree Road during Benazir Bhutto government in 1994 but after the protest that QAU land should not be given for private use, the scheme was relocated under Federal Government Employees Housing Foundation to G-14/4 in 1997-98. With the passage of time, the roads initially built by the Foundation have broken. Not a single road in the entire sector is car-friendly. Many have been completely washed away by rains and the locality is now a victim of neglect.
The garbage collection mechanism is also not working. Trash collected from homes is thrown out on streets where it keeps piling up and gets dispersed widely by rag pickers, dozens of stray dogs and wind. The residents feel as if they have built their houses on a heap of garbage. A professor said that gutters frequently choke, spreading foul smell for days and weeks, adding to the residents’ misery.
He blamed the Foundation to be responsible for not completing the development work for which it received the entire money years ago. He said it is still shy of undertaking the remaining development work utterly unmoved by the unceasing visits and pleadings by the residents. The garbage is piling up in streets and spreads around in spite of the admission by the DG Housing Foundation that a contractor had been hired for Rs2.2 million for garbage collection.
Apparently, no one from the Foundation is checking the performance of the contractor. The DG, FGEHF, had promised – and the residents have a tape recording of his promise – that 40 new trash bins would be placed in the sector. Not a single new bin is found around. The old ones were worn out long ago. Representations by the residents to the Wafaqi Mohtasib also did not work. The Mohtasib’s office seems, for some reason, finds the evasive replies from the concerned departments satisfactory, completely oblivious of the sufferings of the complainants.
Citizens’ Portal, so proudly initiated by the new government at the Centre proved to be a strangely ineffective means of lodging complaints, complained a retired staffer of QAU now living there. The complaints are immediately forwarded to the concerned departments, but the departments remain unmoved and the Portal takes no notice of it, he added. The residents have a long list of complaints launched on the Portal that had no response from the concerned departments. About 20 residents, who are retired professors and government servants, met the DG of the Foundation in October last. The DG presented a comprehensive plan of work in the sector with a timeline. The promise was that by the end of December last, the work on roads would definitely start. This proved to be only a hollow promise. To utter disappointment of the residents, the work on roads is still nowhere in sight. It might not commence even before April, adding to the misery of the residents who helplessly see the daily deterioration of whatever is left of roads. If the Prime Minister’s Citizens’ Portal has not proved to be of any use, and if complaints to the Wafaqi Mohtasib have not been able to move the Foundation, the residents wonder what options are left for them except to take their protest to a higher level.