Of broken promises: residents of Bhara Kahu suffer amid authorities’ negligence


–Metropolitan Corporation blames lack of funds for area’s deplorable condition

ISLAMABAD: Dwellers of Bhara Kahu, suffering at the hands of the authorities concerned, have stressed the need to take effective steps for the provision of better living conditions and complained of the false promises that their representatives made before elections.

As per the details, wild growth has taken over the entire area while heaps of garbage can also be seen. Lack of proper sanitation or cleanliness systems is adding to environmental pollution and subsequent disease outbreaks, whereas encroachments have also flooded the neighbourhood.

Unplanned construction works are also among the many problems being faced by the locals.

Speaking to Pakistan Today, residents of Bhara Kahu complained that leaders from all political parties had promised to resolve the issues faced by them ahead of the general elections; however, they said, any of their representatives hardly visited the area now.

They said that high hopes were attached to the local government representatives as well, but nothing more than carpeting of a few streets and launching of failed cleanliness drives was done.

“The previous Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) government was no better… they promised to construct a flyover in a bid to rid us of our traffic problems but only a pedestrian bridge was erected.”

Hanif Abbasi, a shopkeeper near Athal Chowk, said that the locals were “deceived” by the politicians every time. “Bhara Kahu always remained a stronghold of the PML-N but the people voted against the party in the last elections for not fulfilling its promises.”

“Khaqan Abbasi, during his tenure as the prime minister, did nothing for Murree [Abbasi’s hometown], due to which not only did he face defeat but also couldn’t dare to contest the by-polls from the federal capital,” he added.

Another resident, Shahid, said that dilapidated condition of the bridge that linked Bhara Kahu to Quaid-e-Azam University and Bari Imam, spoke volumes of the Capital Development Authority’s (CDA) negligence.

He demanded that the authorities concerned repaired the damaged bridge before it led to some untoward incident.

Similarly, M Israr, another dweller, said that the government should pay attention to heaps of garbage that had turned the area into a breeding ground of bacteria, viruses, flies and mosquitoes that were a threat to their health, especially the children who played in open places.

He also demanded practical steps to ensure cleanliness in the Jhuggi Mor, Bhara Pul, Simli Dam Road, Athal Chowk, Nai Abadi and Dhoke Jilani areas as a clean environment was their fundamental right.

When contacted, Raja Wahid, a chairman from Bhara Kahu, said that the Metropolitan Corporation Islamabad (MCI) had not received a single penny for the past three-and-a-half years and so no development works were carried out in the area.

“The local bodies system has apparently been set up for political mileage alone as the elected representatives are neither given power nor funds.”

However, he said, that they formed a company on a self-help basis tasked to lift garbage from the locality and clean the streets, besides laying down drainage pipes in some areas.

To a question, he said that they raised their voice against the non-release of funds at various forums but all in vain.

He added that the previous government also broke its promise of releasing funds, adding that even the elected representatives of the local government were not receiving their salaries.