Archive for February, 2007

Chairlift, Again? Imagine!

chairlift_in_imagination.jpgThe Capital Development Authority’s (CDA) directorate of project management has sent the results of a feasibility survey regarding installation of a chairlift at Daman-e-Koh to the Interior Ministry. The project has been revived again after it was shelved by a previous government and the chairlift will operate from the hill station at Daman-e-Koh to the city’s zoo. Work on the project will start after the ministry approves it.

Encroachment Going Or Growing?

Encroachment.jpgOn my recent visit to Jinnah Super in F-7, I realised that once a temporary prayer area for shopkeepers smack in the middle of the central park is now slowly metamorphosing into a full blown permanant mosque. Earlier it was just a platform, then it transformed into a courtyard, and the latest picture depicts a solid boundary and decoration by light bulbs.

The situation is not better in other areas.

The Capital Development Authority (CDA) continues to develop new parks in Pakistan’s capital city while people continue to encroach upon them. Building a mosque or a seminary is perhaps the easiest way to legitimise encroachment and it is no surprise that some of Islamabad’s parks are the sites for such construction.

Also guilty are influential owners of private houses who, in at least three instances, have extended their boundary walls to occupy land reserved for parks. Such occupation is upsetting for residents but the CDA appears helpless.

Although notices have been served on encroachers, enforcement has been lacking. CDA departments are busy playing blame games.
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Keep Them Off of our Trees

Keep spraying man

Here a CDA employee sprinkles the insecticide by a spray gun to a tree. It’s an attempt to save trees (the ones that remains from cutting – you can refer to Ghalia’s Bald Islamabad).

This drive to save trees from termites came up as hundreds of trees are lost every year in Islamabad to termite attacks. The termites attack is noticed mostly in Sheesham, Kikar and Neem trees.

Termites live well hidden in the wood of a tree or in the soil and their galleries are perfectly sealed off making it difficult for even an insecticide or a bio-control agent to reach their colony. Normally it does not attack green trees but the phenomenon is being witnessed in Islamabad.

Image Source: Tanveer Shazad / Dawn

It’s Just Another Wash Out

Water%20Issues.jpgWater covers about two-thirds of the Earth’s surface, admittedly. But most is too salty for use. Population is rising, but water supplies are not. Only 2.5% of the world’s water is not salty, and two-thirds of that is locked up in the icecaps and glaciers. Of what is left, about 20% is in remote areas, and much of the rest arrives at the wrong time and place, as monsoons and floods.

Humans have available less than 0.08% of all the Earth’s water. Yet over the next two decades our use is estimated to increase by about 40%. Today, one person in five across the world has no access to safe drinking water, and one in two lacks safe sanitation.

World over, depleting water resources and increasing temperatures have prompted heated debates, pro-active policy approaches demands for rational use of available resources and their conservation. Pakistan is no exception either to the global warming and receding water levels — both over and underground.

But if you wade through pools of water flowing from driveways of palatial houses even in Islamabad’s posh E and F sectors, mostly home to foreign diplomats, top notch of Pakistani bureaucracy and an overbearing NGO community, you hardly get a sense of urgency.
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Dress For Success?

Jilbab.jpgI go out in the streets, and I see the same choice of clothing by the Islooites all around, to be precise the “Shalwar Kameez”. Men and women when it comes to it, the pattern is redundant; the cuts are same, the only difference being different colors or occasional variety in the types of flowers on the suits.

Not that I am against shalwar kameez, it’s the national dress here, but one question that comes to mind is why people hesitate to experiment with different styled clothing? Why aren’t people willing to experiment with quality, new designs, and cuts?

Islamabad is slightly luckier than many of the other parts of Pakistan, where you see an occasional hipster, or an occasional pair of jeans, perhaps a blouse and a maxi especially in the Turkish and Iranian segments of the expatriate population. However it seems that the indigenous Isoolite males and females are reluctant to try out new things and fashion styles. The situation is more dire when it comes to women though, as men still try to mix things up a bit. When it comes to females, those who dare to try out trousers or jeans, one common aspect is the big brown embroidered cloth wrapped all around their torso. Even that seems to be a redundant choice in so called elite segment of the population. For example, pair of jeans that are torn from the heals due to abuse, opened toed sandals, and yes the ever faithful cloth on the top is the choice any day. Sometimes it’s red, some times it is pink, for the more conventional types, embroidery is the way to go.

Perhaps, it’s the paranoia of the stares that they might get walking on the road, or perhaps it’s the cultural aspect, but one thing is for sure, things do look profoundly hackneyed. I believe it’s always better that clothing abides by the rules of decency in public, and should also adhere to the cultural, and in this case, religious norms, but one can’t argue on the need for fresh ideas, better designs keeping all aspects of modesty in mind and variety that is definitely missing here.

If you don’t agree with me, next time just try to observe things from this perspective. You would be pleasantly surprised for sure.

Nullahs Cleansing or Civic Sense Inflition

Few days back in a newsclip i read that:

A special campaign for cleaning nullahs has begun in Islamabad on the directives of CDA Chairman Kamran Lashari. During the campaign, garbage in nullahs would be taken out to ensure a clean water flow. The CDA has directed citizens not to throw waste in nullahs and sewerage lines and to cooperate with the authorities in the campaign.

OK Good enough – though I think Islamabad’s sewerage lines are much “cleaner” than our twin city’s or lahore or any other city’s nullahs. The thng of UTMOST importance is to teach our peple at least soem civic sense – when proper bins and carts come for taking the daily garbage then why the heck the need arises to litter in nullahs ???

I’ve seen people going in 75+ Lacs of car and still throwing garbage, wrappers, cans out on the road – can’t they keep soem bags with them to collect their litter and throw it when they reach home??

Don’t we own some responsible behavious here???

Elimination Of The Poor

Poverty%20In%20Pak.jpgThe government has disbursed Rs 10.48 million out of Rs 46.209 million allocated for zakat to deserving people in the Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) for the current financial year. Two installments worth Rs 14.350 million and Rs 11.699 million have been released from the zakat fund for distribution among the needy out of which Rs 10.48 million have been disbursed so far.

Poverty is ugly, everyone agrees, but what has been done to clean this ugliness from our society is just not enough. It seems that our society has by default accepted low quality of living, unavailabilty of health and basic needs as their destiny.

Pakistan has made a significant achievement in poverty reduction, but the outcome has not been consistent and sustainable over a long period of time.
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Fire Brigade Doomsday

Go through this Clipping – thanks to a reader (Yahya) who forwarded this clipping.

DOOOOOOOM

So here goes our hydraulic ladder too :/

Haqooq-e-Mardan

Huqooq_i_Mardan.jpgmen can not stay behind. there is no relation in passing the Haqooq-e-Niswan bill and passing the alcohol bill.

The Japanese Cultural Saga

An 18-member artistes delegation from Japan has arrived in Islamabad to present performances depicting Japanese culture. The delegation is on a weeklong tour of Pakistan in connection with Japan Week beginning from today (Monday).

Japanese.bmpThe Japanese Embassy will celebrate ‘Japan Week’ from February 26 to March 4, and various Japanese cultural events will be organised in Islamabad and Peshawar.

The Japanese Embassy has been celebrating the week in Pakistan for the last three consecutive years. This year, the Japanese cultural performances will be held in Peshawar for the first time.

Major events during ‘Japan Week’ include a Japanese tea ceremony, Ikebana demonstration, Koto and Shamisen instrumental concert, live demonstration of Japanese traditional calligraphy, Japanese Art Exhibition titled ‘Asian Art Now 2007’, and a children’s art competition. The delegation will leave for Peshawar on March 1, to perform at the Peshawar University SSAQ Museum

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