Beautification drive of Peshawar city

By Prof. Rahmat Karim Baig

This idea was floated about three decades ago when bluish tiles were pasted on bridge masonry, smaller walls of govt. buildings and many public places but within weeks half of them fell down or were uprooted by the citizens of the so called Islamic Republic and nobody cared, beside piles of waste, garbage and trash at the foot of all such beautified walls all over Peshawar city.

Nobody cared.  All the money was wasted but the contractors pocketed unearned amounts in cash. This was the vision of the politicians, ensgineers, planning section of the then NWFP, social activists and many others. This was such a wastage of public money that it had to be brought under investigation but then there was no NAB.

The old residents and some column writers still write about restoration of the beauty and elegance of old Peshawar which is taken as Shangrilla. Thousands of hours have been wasted on this restoration idea but the weepers still weep and mourn.

Then what is the real beautification? It is not the tiles/ marbles, glazed modern building material that make a city beautiful. This city has been disfigured because it is now a dumping ground of garbage. It is now one of the dirtiest cities of the country because of poor management and inefficiency of the administrators. The residents and the emigrants and the refugees have made it so plus the over population and the millions of motorized traffic that has raised pollution level to immeasurable heights.

Everyone doing business in this city, everyone who lives in the city, every child, traveler, visitor and the like must have regards for cleanliness, civic sense, awareness, rule of law and all other  urban ethics  and care for cleanliness of the areas around their homes and places of work and places of business. The city govt. must be active and duty conscious. All kind of garbage and dirt be disposed of and every one living here must play role and make the city cleaner and cleaner day by day… that is the real beauty of the city.

The visitors from other parts of the country should see it and appreciate it. Foreigners should see the change- the cleanliness practically and that makes the difference. A city overwhelmingly  overcrowded with millions of balls of NASWAR even in the main waiting room of LRH is a proof  that this city is inundated under Naswar and as long as absence of civic sense and NASWAR culture is a major luxury of Pakhtun culture there will be no beauty to be seen in this city. It is in the grip of vicious cycle and likely to remain under garbage and pollution indefinitely.

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