Friday March 31, 2023

Ignoring basic needs of Rawalpindi

By Our Correspondent
December 19, 2022

Rawalpindi : Just talk about under-construction overhead bridges and underpasses. Let the existing roads and streets go to hell! It is no use repairing the old roads. Only those projects exert a pull on officials that cost several millions of rupees. Not a soul is interested in peanuts.

“Drive against favouritism is first in the long queue of actionable items that will see the city develop. The city fathers should stop thinking big and mentioning the advantages of building more expensive projects while ignoring the basic needs of the city,” says Athar Hussain.

“Unfortunately, roads are constructed that allow rainwater to stay. Roads that have even an inch of water can break up due to the wedging action of water held in minute cracks in the surfacing as heavy vehicles pass over,” says Imdad Ali.

“Heavily potholed roads in cities are costing the taxpayers millions of rupees each year in increased fuel prices, lost time in traffic jams, expenses of repairs to vehicles, medical bills of dislocated and fractured bones,” adds Imdad. “A good percentage of the money paid in taxes is going into paying fat salaries of concerned departments’ personnel. They do not even bother to put up a show of looking after the roads and streets,” says Akbar Naqvi.

“Shoddy supervision by the officials, even shoddier work done by contractors, deliberate use of sub-standard material easily peeling off the roads after a brief spell of rain makes the potholes even bigger,” adds Akbar.

“Piles of rubble and garbage lining the lanes, dirt roads, trenches dug by telephone, electricity and other departments not paved for months together, are some of the challenges staring in our face,” says Ashiq Jafary.

“Faulty planning eats up millions of rupees in wrong projects. The infrastructure we have is just pathetic. Lack of funds just cannot be an excuse for non-development. Millions of dollars of foreign investments are coming in and the percentage of people paying taxes is on the rise, still they complain about lack of funds,” says Mehdi Hasan.

“In fact, people wouldn’t mind paying increased taxes, if they are assured that they will get better basic amenities and infrastructure for the money they shell out. Roads can be better if the middlemen do not eat and misuse the money given for maintenance,” adds Mehdi.

“The city fathers simply do not understand city residents’ problems. A lot of development is possible if corruption is controlled. How­ever, the sad part is that none who matters is interested. Our officials are more interested in frequent contracts,” says Hasan Mujtaba.

Riffat Hussain says, “Both service providers and users be involved in project implementation. Before and during project implementation, all aspects of the project must be explained at public hearings. The involvement of the public will serve as a deterrent to corruption.”