By Jannat Hameed
These are the scenes not from any far flung and neglected areas in Baluchistan but from inside Gwadar, the port city, which is at the centre of China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).
The rulers remain utterly oblivious to the real problems of the people living in Gwadar, portraying it as future Dubai and Singapore. On the contrary, the ground realities tell a totally different story.
Gwadar is a beautiful city with its peninsular location surrounded by the beautiful Arabian sea on three sides. A few years ago Gwadar was included among the most clean cities in the country but a rapid increase in population and a lack of proper cleaning and waste disposal system presents a pathetic and a completely untidy look.
The streets of the city are full of garbage dumps. There is not a single corner, street or a Chowk, which is not littered with garbage piles. One cannot find any garbage collection bins anywhere in the city. This is the reason that people feel free to throw their garbage anywhere they like.
Maasi Sakeena a resident of the old Mullaband ward, Gwadar spoke to Pak Voices, “Neither there is any system for disposal of garbage in the neighborhood nor there are any waste bins. Therefore, we have no option but to throw the waste in the streets and on the roadsides.”
These garbage dumps in the streets and neighborhoods are not only causing foul smell but also becoming a breeding ground for mosquitos spreading malaria, dengue many other diseases.
In spite of the fact that there is a special department for cleaning and disposal of litter in Gwadar, but the waste piles negate its existence altogether. Zeba Yaqoob who resides in Fazal Chok area told Pak Voices that they rarely see Waste Management Department personnel for cleaning purposes in their area.
“Even if the town management visits their area, it’s only for namesake. Nothing is done practically,” she complained. She further said that for days the sewerage water roams the streets to the nuisance of the people.
Pak Voice contacted Haji Mola Bakhsh, Vice Chairman, Municipal Committee Gwadar in this regard who said, “We are trying to improve the waste disposal and cleaning system in Gwadar but we are short of personnel, machinery and resources.”
He further said, “That’s why the cleaning system is not sufficient. We send our limited personnel by distributing into three union councils on daily basis.” He added, “We face many other problems as well, for example, we are bound to help clean many Government Departments and buildings.”
He said, “If the Gwadar Municipal Committee is given the status of Corporation, it will bring us many resources and we will be able to improve our cleaning and garbage disposal services.”
The writer works as a citizen journalist for Pak Voices in Gwadar.
Translated by Tariq Mehmood