- Sanitation, water supply, slums and other issues of service delivery haunt Islamabad
ISLAMABAD: While the monsoon season is all set to conclude, the parks and green belts of the capital present the sight of complete neglect as oversized and unkept shrubs, bushes and vegetation inundate every nook and cranny of the city while city managers slumber.
Although Islamabad now has two dedicated municipal agencies – the Capital Development Authority (CDA) and the Metropolitan Corporation Islamabad (MCI) along with a dedicated Ministry of Capital Administration and Development Division headed by a federal minister, the capital is haunted by serious issues of service delivery that includes sanitation, water supply, illegal slums and deteriorating amenities.
The abrupt failure of the city managers is most visible in many sectors in general and G and I sectors in particular where lack the proper waste disposal and heaps of garbage reek the surroundings for weeks on end as CDA has outsourced the sanitation to private contractors. Although the Sanitation Directorate under the Environmental Wing is responsible for sweeping, cleaning and transportation of solid waste along with door-to-door garbage collection, the garbage drums near many localities routinely overflow.
Presently, the CDA’s Sanitation Directorate is trusted with providing sanitation services to municipal limits of Islamabad that includes Zone-I of the capital. Islamabad has total five zones out of which only Zone-I has been fully developed that primarily comprises of established sectors i.e E, F, G, H and I. With the MCI given power of sanitation, all five zones will come under its domain.
On the other hand, there is no mechanism to ensure the timely collection and disposal of garbage for the middle-class neighbourhoods of G-6, G-7, G-9, G-10, G-11 and I-9 and I-10, the epitome of CDA’s neglect. It has become a commonplace sight in the capital where streets are littered with trash, the designated garbage cans are overflowing and the janitors visit to gather trash irregularly.
The residents have become tired of filing complaints but to no avail. Secondarily, the CDA was formed for a special purpose to plan and develop the capital in an eco-friendly, sustainable fashion, the organisation of late has failed to fulfill its core purpose. The mushroomed and steady growth of slums speaks loads about the civic agency’s performance and failure to stump the new ones on capital’s vicinity and main sectors.
Following the footsteps of Sector I-11, where Islamabad’s latest slum has been established, a similar one is being slowly and steadily coming to life in Sector I-12. The CDA’s Enforcement Directorate has once again turned a blind eye despite the fact that CDA has the possession of the land and all set to develop a new sector.
Encroachments and illegal occupation of the land has become one of the most pressing issue for the residents. In order to put an end to such practices, the joint demarcation by ICTA/CDA revenue staff is underway in many rural areas like Bani Gala, Jamali, Pandora, Senior Chitral, D-12, C-15/16, E series and other parts of the city to determine exact nature and quantum of land under illegal occupation. Once it is completed, CDA plans to fence its own land properly.
Despite various operations by civic authorities, the growth of slums, dhabas, car wash stations and shops by land grabbers continue at a steady pace. Illegal occupation has enormously increased over the last few years due to increase in population, migration of affectees in the wake of natural and manmade disasters in rural and urban areas of the capital territory.