By Prof. Rahmat Karim Baig
The arrival of the modern facilities and luxury items in the urban areas of northern Pakistan has also brought a good number of negative impacts on social life of the residents of this mountainous region of the country. Here land under cultivation is already very low and arable land is available but in small amount.
The farmer of Chitral as an independent cultivator has got very small tract of land for subsistence farming. The tracts of lands in the town area of Chitral have already been used for buildings and commercial markets. People reaching here from different parts of Chitral and other districts find no civic facilities. Students and children find no trash bin for disposal of waste material like plastic shopping bags, packaging material, beverage bottles, juice packs, raw and used papers, banana waste, kino peals, vegetable waste, cigarette packets, empty match boxes etc. and every one throws every kind of waste wherever he likes thus adding to the littered heaps while the garbage lifting staff is few in number and cannot clean all the garbage of the day on the same day. Beside the garbage heaped in and around the shops, markets, bus stands, hotels, the school children double the heap of trash by throwing cases of biscuits and chips that have chocked the sewerage system badly and water channel overflow due to littering and failure to de-silt them in time and in proper way. The water courses and runnels have been blocked by plastic of all kind and shape and colour. In the vicinity of the government and public schools the state of affair is lamentable. The school authorities have never for a moment thought of keeping a clean premises and no trash bin was seen by the walls of any of these schools so the garbage littered around these schools is to be considered seriously by the authorities concerned. The town area presents a very ugly scene – a heap of garbage and a dirty mark on the performance of the city municipal government and a blur on the civic sense of the residents.
The same state of affair exists in the villages in the valleys as well, and where there is active business, active educational activities the more garbage is seen and the school teachers, the public representatives, the common man, the religious minded section of the society – all of them see all before their eyes but nobody damn cares!
This is our common responsibility to create awareness in all educations institutions and other business centres to dispose off their garbage and the authorities concerned should work actively to make town and village centres cleaner and better spots and show it by action not by speeches without taken appropriate measures. Tourists reaching Chitral city find it a heap of garbage and one of the dirtiest places instead of a Chitral that used to be praised for its natural character, its helpful residents, its peaceful environment, its stench free grassy lands but now thanks to Municipal Authorities every thing has been changed and gives a very bad image of a small mountain town managed by inefficient staff.