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AFP
January 16, 2012
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Alipur Farash dwellers protest against lack of facilities

Sports

AFP
January 16, 2012

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Islamabad
The residents of the Capital Development Authority’s (CDA) Model Urban Shelter Scheme at Alipur Farash held a protest demonstration under the auspices of the All-Pakistan Alliance for Katchi Abadis against the deteriorating state of affairs in the scheme and the lax attitude of the relevant municipal authorities towards their plight.
The protesters, including men, women and children, lamented the attitude of mainstream political parties, who they said, only interacted with the residents of Alipur Farash when there were political gains to be had and not to work towards the long-term resolution of various problems they were facing.
Speaking on the occasion, local organiser Rukhsana Qazi said that hundreds of families have been resettled at Alipur Farash from a number of Islamabad’s ‘katchi abadis’ over past few years, but the CDA has still not established a proper sewerage system and made arrangements for water supply or even regular garbage collection.
Rukhsana Qazi said that despite the fact that the scheme is one of the CDA’s ‘model villages’ it resembles a typical unplanned settlement with nominal municipal facilities. She said that the fate of Alipur Farash is a classic example of the priorities of the state bureaucracy.
Speaking on the occasion, alliance chairman Aasim Sajjad Akhtar said that like many relatively poor localities in Islamabad, in Alipur Farash too there is a desperate shortage of gas, as well as innumerable power outages. However the political elite continue to deal with these energy shortages in a completely instrumental way.
Pointing to the series of transport strikes, which paralysed the twin cities two weeks ago, Aasim Sajjad Akhtar pointed out that even though the protests were organised in the name of the poor, as soon as the influential political elements behind the protests secured their objectives the poor were left to fend completely for themselves. He said that so long as politics in

Pakistan continues to play out in this way the democratisation of state and society will remain a pipe dream.
According to unofficial data, there are 28 ‘katchi abadis’ in Islamabad inhabited by more than 70,000 dwellers in worst living conditions. Under the Urban Shelter Programme, the CDA has acknowledged only 10 ‘katchi abadis’ for provision of basic facilities because the national policy introduced by the government does not allow it to facilitate dwellers of those ‘katchi abadis’ set up after March 1985.
According to the CDA plan, a total of 4,000 plots would be allotted to dwellers of ‘katchi abadis’ at Alipur Farash. Almost half of the houses have so far been constructed by allottees that benefited from the scheme. However, those who are residing there are having bundles of complaints against the city fathers.
The residents of the area believe that CDA has not provided them with facilities that they had earlier pledged to. They demanded of the CDA to provide them all basic facilities of life.

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