LAHORE: A few minutes of downpour can turn several streets in Township’s Block 13 and 14 into a pool, residents of Union Council 232 say. Sometimes, the water remains standing for days suspending routine life in the area, they say.
The residents of Township’s Sector B1’s Blocks 2, 3, 9 and 11 to 16 complain that after re-surfacing Abubakar Road, the main road is now higher than feeder roads. “Now all streets are below the main road… rain water pools in Blocks 13 and 14.”
Most of them say they would vote for the candidate who would work to solve this problem.
They say the area had become overcrowded over the past decade and the resources were overburdened. The residents point at lack of access to safe drinking water and a choking sewerage system among other major problems in the area.
The major political parties – the Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N), the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) and the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) – have fielded candidates in the UC.
The market centre, which becomes a pond during monsoon season, is now plastered with posters and flex prints displaying the symbols and pictures of the parties’ candidates.
The PML-N candidate for chairman Muhammad Ajmal Hashmi says his party had already done remarkable development in the area. “Only a few petty issues are left which I will take care of after winning the local government election.”
PML-N’s candidate for vice chairman Haji Abdul Rasheed says he lives in the area and is therefore aware of all major problems. “I know and can feel the suffering of people…I face the same problems.”
Rasheed promises to address these issues soon after winning the elections.
PTI’s candidates for chairman and vice chairman have prioritised improvement of the sewerage system. Candidate for chairman Malik Maqsood Ahmad Khokhar and vice chairman candidate Malik Abid say they were involved with social work in the area long before the local government election campaign.
They say most of the youth of the area have rallied behind the PTI. “We are expecting a tough competition between the PTI and the PML-N.”
Muhammad Aslam Gara, a former councillor and nazim from the union council, says Township was a housing scheme designed for low-income households but the government had rain the property transfer fees manifold.
He said though water and sanitation were important issues, he also wanted to press the government to review property tax rates because thousands of residents in Township could not afford the exorbitant transfer fee.
PPP candidate for vice chairman Azeem Butt says this would be his first election but he is aware of local issues and wants to solve them. “There is no graveyard in our area and residents have to arrange for burial in neighbouring colonies and blocks.”
Finding a suitable place to build a graveyard would be the top priority, he promises.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 30th, 2015.