Our government allocates a huge budget every year for the construction and maintenance of roads in the country. However, just a short ride from one point to the another is enough to demonstrate that behind this process, there is nothing but mismanagement and neglect.
Major roads in many cities are in a state of disrepair. In Hyderabad for example, many roads have been rendered useless due to the damage by rainwater in the previous monsoon season. People are fed up of writing and filing complaints to their respective union councils. No action has been taken to provide better roads to the public. Will anyone heed our voices?
February 21 is celebrated as the International Day of Mother Languages. This day is significant for the promotion of preservation and protection of languages in the world. This day also commemorates the Bengali students protest in the East Pakistan (now Bangladesh) who were demanding that their mother language Bangla be spoken in their land.
This day was the first declared by UNESCO in 1999. It also is a reminder of the languages which are dying out. As per UNESCO reports, 577 languages are soon to be lost, whereas 7,000 languages will be lost till the end of the century.
This shows that how thankless and careless we are with our languages whose sustainability is a kind of cooperation of communication among humans. A nation must make efforts to keep its language alive. This includes promoting teaching in its mother language especially in elementary schools, enhancing readership in the language and work on the literature. The life of a nation depends upon its language. As the saying goes, “It is not we who shape the words, rather the words shape us.”
Reality of Gwadar
Gwadar, with a population of 90,762, is one of the most beautiful tourist attractions of Balochistan. It is a famous port city which has now gained tremendous popularity because its epic cricket stadium. A beautiful stadium built adjacent to the beach and surrounded by mountains. In fact, people are considering it as one of the world’s most beautiful cricket stadiums when its pictures went viral on the internet. In addition, a promotional PSL match between Quetta Gladiators and Karachi Kings is also expected to be played post PSL-finale.
On the other hand, what is deeply saddening is that Gwadar’s own residents are prohibited to enter that stadium or to play. Moreover, the residents of the city lack the basic necessities of life such as water, electricity, gas and well-constructed roads.
Furthermore, the government built CPEC project for economic purposes but the city’s own roads are still not constructed.
Gwadar is also famous for its five-star hotel on the hammerhead but still there is no university for the local students. What is deeply concerning to the locals is that now the government is building a fence in the city meaning that the residents would not be able to access the new infrastructure. Considering the current situation, it appears that in future we might as well need passport to visit our own Gwadar city.
Samina Aslam Qumbrani,
WAF concerned about
Ravi River Urban Development Project
Women’s Action Forum (WAF) expresses deep concern at the implementation of the Ravi River Urban Development Project (RRUDP). Extremely alarming is that work at the site has been initiated prior to the public hearing for the EIA (Environmental Impact Assessment) scheduled for 21st February 2021.
WAF demands an immediate stop to the implementation of the works such as land acquisition, dredging and earth works until the due process of approval of the project is completed including the EIA.
The project will impact one 100,000 persons – half women and girls, threatening the livelihoods of most of these people who depend on agriculture, farming and cattle rearing. Channelization of the river and constructing 3 barrages in order to create a lake for a waterfront development on the model of Dubai Jumeirah beach is against all principles of sustainable development and ecological sustainability.
The project should focus on cleaning up a large number of drains, originally storm water channels, running through the city that carry municipal and industrial sewage if it is seriously interested in urban development which is polluting the river. This will also relieve the pressure on the billion rupees treatment plants that the project envisages to construct.
In place of riverfront development a minimum of a 20 year flood plain amounting to less than 20 percent of the overall project area should be retained in its natural conditions and be declared a National Park to be used as a recreational area for picnics, fishing, bird watching, walking and cycling tracks, outdoor games and nature tourism such that in case of a flood there is no damage to infrastructure along the entire 46 km stretch of the project. The National Park with open land and clean river water will also continue to be a lung for the Lahore city.
WAF supports the local population in rejecting the project as a threat to their livelihoods and of displacement; demands that the floodplains not be touched at all; it opposes use of engineering of a natural resource with the flood plains to be declared a national park .The high investment and ecologically damaging interventions proposed in the feasibility studies and the EIA document must be reviewed and recommendations of an alternative approach which is sustainable both environmentally and economically be explored.
WAF is not anti-development but supports the current government manifesto for affordable housing, no encroachments onto agricultural land and billion tree Tsunami. – PR