“The area we live in lies lower than surrounding areas so it gets flooded every time there is heavy rainfall,” Imran Sikander, a resident of Rewaz Garden, says. The rainwater then remains standing for days so that the area is cut off from its surroundings, he says.
Sikander, who owns a shop in the area, says he hopes the local government will help improve the situation in his area. “We know most of these people who are contesting the elections,” he says. “Knowing your representatives makes it easier to voice your concerns to the leaders at the top.”
Chaudhary Muhammad Shabbir, another resident of the union council, says their problems are pretty much the same as other areas. “What we need is someone committed to addressing those problems.” He says availability of safe drinking water is a major concern. Rewaz Garden was earlier a part of the larger Union Council 81.
Voters in the area expect a close competition between three candidates for chairman and vice chairman.
Former nazim from the area Khaliq Ahmed Butt is running as an independent candidate with the hut as his election symbol. He is affiliated with the Jamaat-i-Islami but is not contesting the election from the party’s platform.
Anees Ahmed Lodhi, the PML-N candidate for chairman, says he is aware of the problems in the area. “I live here and have grown up here.” Lodhi says he would try and get more tube wells installed to provide safe drinking water and would also get old sewerage pipes changed. “One of the reasons why rain water remains standing here is because the drain pipes in the area are old,” he says.
Lodhi, a property dealer, has earlier won the local government elections twice.
The PML-N candidate for vice chairman is Muhammad Arshad Chaudhry.
“The PML-N’s representatives have not solved any of our area’s issues in the past few years,” Muhammad Nawaz, the PTI candidate for chairman, says. The water filtration plants are old and supply of water often halts at 5pm. He says the PML-N leadership does not care about such problems. “This is Nawaz Sharif’s area but he hasn’t visited it once after winning.” Nawaz runs a flour business. He was elected a general councillor from the area in 2001 and 2005.
The PTI’s candidate for vice chairman is Arshad Nawaz.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 23rd, 2015.