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May 26, 2014

Drive against mushroom growth of hostels, colleges intensified

May 26, 2014

PESHAWAR: The movement against the mushroom growth of private hostels and colleges in Faqirabad and Zaryab Colony in the provincial capital has intensified as thousands of posters inscribed with slogans against the member of provincial assembly from the area and Municipal Corporation could be seen on Sunday.
Last months, the residents of the two localities launched a campaign against the government for its indifferent attitude towards the unbridled growth of private hostels and colleges in the residential areas. The recent poster was critical of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI)-led provincial government for its lacklustre performance and it criticised its much-trumpeted slogan of change.
The poster published by the local residents has enlisted several demands. These include closure of private hostels and colleges in residential areas, banning the use of residential properties for commercial use and stopping gas, electricity and water supply to hostels and colleges from transformers meant for domestic consumers.
The posters demanded that the Building Control Authority of the Municipal Corporation Peshawar should implement the building laws in letter and spirit and consult the local committee before approving building maps. The people of the area complained that before the construction of hostels the law and order situation of the area was better, but now it has worsened.
The poster seen on the roads and streets is critical of provincial Minister for Mines and Mineral Development Ziaullah Afridi who was also the elected member of the constituency. It stated that after ignoring the plight of the electorate how he would come again and seek vote. It demanded removal of the said minister for his alleged support to the land mafia. “Tabdeli Aur Inqilab Ka Naara Lagane Wale Jhote Nikle”, (The people chanting the slogan of change and revolution were liars), the poster said.
The sewerage system of the area has been badly affected and large dumps

of garbage as well as choked sewerage lines could be seen in the entire vicinity. Dr Shahzad, an elder of the area leading the movement, told The News that despite a number of requests to the civic authorities and the MPA no action was taken against the hostels, colleges and plazas. He said the authorities argued that as there was no proper law for the area so they couldn’t take action against them. “Is this our fault that there are no laws to stop commercial activities in the residential areas,” Dr Shahzad asked.

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