PESHAWAR: Encroachments in almost all parts of the provincial capital, ill-planned development schemes and lack of civic sense have created problems for citizens in the provincial metropolis.
The provincial government in August had announced launching “a grand anti-encroachment drive across the district to implement the “Peshawar Revival Plan.”
An official communication by the Peshawar division commissioner had stated that Peshawar Development Authority (PDA), town municipal administrations (TMAs) and traffic police had been directed for conducting a survey and furnish a report within a week to launch a grand anti-encroachments drive for removing encroachments in the city.
The meeting had directed the Town-I administration to conduct operations in the interior city, Town-II on the Charsadda Road, Town-III on University Road and Town-IV on the Kohat Road.
The Pakistan Railways was tasked with carrying out the anti-encroachment operation on the railway track. The PDA was asked to conduct operations in Hayatabad and Karkhano Market.
The offices of the commissioner and deputy commissioner issue press releases on a regular basis about taking action against encroachments. However, the residents have yet to see any noticeable improvement in the situation.
In almost all parts of the provincial capital, the shopkeepers place goods on the footpaths, creating inconvenience for the pedestrians.
Hashtnagri, Karimpura, Shaheen Bazaar, New Muslim Meena Bazaar, Chowk Yadgar, Qissa Khwani and Kohati Bazaar are the case in points.
Karimpura Bazaar, Shaheen Bazaar, New Muslim Meena Bazaar and Chowk Nasir Khan Bazaar are frequented by women for shopping. There are women occupying senior administrative positions in Peshawar but no one among them has bothered to turn to these business centres and reclaim the public places hit by make-shift encroachments.
In the evening, the fruit and vegetable sellers block the roads with their pushcarts. This practice is common on the outskirts of Peshawar. Most bazaars in the city are also blocked due to the irresponsible behaviour of the pushcart sellers and negligence of the authorities.
The lack of traffic plan for Ring Road and public transporters disregard for traffic law causes traffic congestion and problems for residents.
The public transporters in the areas where traffic wardens are not deputed create a complete mess. The transporters stop vehicles at the junction of the access roads connecting different localities to the town through the Ring Road completely blocking the roads.
The confusion over the development plan of the Ring Road has not only resulted in the loss of huge public money but also caused several accidents. The PDA had installed solar-powered lights on the Ring Road.
Later, these lights along with the poles were removed. Now work on the installation of the light poles on the Ring Road from Kohat Road to GT Road has been started. But the slow pace of work and the removal of the divider on the Ring Road for several weeks contribute to accidents.
The unplanned construction on the outskirts of Peshawar is creating a far bigger problem. In some areas, people have encroached upon the drains outside their homes. They have constructed slopes to their homes blocking the sidewalks on the roads and forcing the pedestrians to walk on the roads creating hurdles for the motorists.
The ill-planned construction of the drains is also a problem. The roads in several areas turn into pools after rain where the rainwater from the roads has not been given proper access to the drains that result in the inundation of roads.
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