- Winning candidates have to address a plethora of civic issues
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan, party’s key leader Asad Umer and Raja Khurram won general elections on capital’s all three National Assembly seats from NA-53, NA-54 and NA-52, according to unofficial results.
As the official result is awaited and soon the newly-elected lawmakers will take their oath. Pakistan Today makes a brief review of most pressing issues that citizens of the capital are facing on daily basis.
WATER WOES: With the water woes of the capital worsening every passing day, the residents have resorted to extreme measures to procure water from any and all means. Ranging from underground water boring, theft of water from supply lines by local influential and exorbitant prices for a single water tanker, the residents vie against each other over most basic of necessity.
Metropolitan Corporation of Islamabad in its bid to plug the gap is now supplying water from the Simly Dam, Khanpur Dam and tube wells around the city. While the stopgap measurements may work for the time being, however, in the absence of a proper planning, lack of apt policies and abject failures to implement remedies on part of the authorities adds to the severity of situation in the long term.
It is pertinent to mention that the water level in both the dams is already nearing the dead level and in absence of rainfall the supply from both the water reservoirs will be either cut off or reduced to bare minimum. Islamabad is once again in the grip of severe water shortage as supply to many residential sectors have drastically decreased and many water boreholes in G-11, G-10, G-13, F-11, E-11, D-12 and other sectors have gone dry due to lowering of water table.
Many residents of newly-developed sectors are left high and dry at the mercy of tanker mafia since scant water supply coupled with repeatedly vain attempts at water boreholes left them in limbo.
HEALTH SECTOR: Polyclinic and Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS) are two major hospitals catering to the entire population of Islamabad and adjacent areas. Both the hospitals are inundated with an array of problems ranging from scant budget allocation to administrative issues. The project of extension of the Polyclinic has been lingering for the past one decade with no hope in sight while an immense load of patients on PIMS has adversely affected its capacity.
The new government needs not only to expand the capacity of these two establishments but to construct new hospitals as well. Furthermore, the mushroom growth of private practice-cum-business in the federal capital has been labelled as the main reason why many doctors are indifferent to their duties.
Private hospitals/clinics with medical stores and laboratories have been set-up in a large number in various areas of the metropolitan, where specialist and well-qualified doctors are available round the clock. On the contrary, patients are seen complaining about the absence of senior and qualified doctors in the public sector hospitals
It is pertinent to mention here that CADD is looking after the main hospitals in the city including the PIMS and the Polyclinic, while the Health Department of the Deputy Commissioner’s Office is responsible for maintaining health in the rural areas of the Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT).
Furthermore, the new government needs to look into and revive a proposed plan of the Ministry of Capital Administration and Development Division (CADD) to bring the Basic Health Units (BHU) and the Rural Health Centres (RHC) under the umbrella of the ministry that has so far hit a snag due to a failure to pursue the case effectively.
Scores of public libraries, gyms and recreational centres become victims of city managers apathy as due to negligence and lack of maintenance many of them are in shambles mere decade after their construction. The ongoing struggle for power and resources between MCI and CDA has made the situation more dire, as the question of ownership of these recreational facilities still hangs in balance.
It is pertinent to mention here that there are more parks per capita in Islamabad, the only city of Pakistan that the boosts of a master plan, than any other city. Almost a decade after, the libraries and gyms are in miserable condition. Many libraries suffer from a scarcity of the books while gyms are either closed or the equipment is rusty and unusable.
There are separate parks for children, ladies and senior citizens. Community parks have football ground, tennis court, basketball court, outdoor gyms and running tracks. Many of these parks are in derelict condition. The nets and partitions are missing, ugly graffiti is all over the place and at night there is no electricity in and around the parks. Turning them into no-go areas for women and the elderly.