City Government’s Latest Venture

Has anyone seen one of those boxes painted blue with the triangle top on it ? On its own the boxes are spacious, and a good idea, even if they are a bit distasteful for my taste. (Dont know if that statement makes sense). Although the reasons why the City Government decided to start this productive venture is still not clear, beacause there are far too many cons in this project, as compared to the pros.

These boxes have been designed for small enterprenurs, mostly commonly known in our lingo as the “Thalle wala” or the hawkers. The few shops that have been so far sold, at a price some where between Rs. 56,000 to 60,000, have been bought by Flower walla or the puncture shops.

Anyways, so out on the streets yesterday, I passed through Bahdaurabad and let out one of the weirdest shreieks ever. Anyone of you out there who have been to Bahadurabad (which i am sure most of you have, thanks Eid no 1 and eid no 2), you remember those small alley like streets in which no matter how hard you try you just have to bump into the other person every now and then to be able to get to another random point on the street. Well those alley ways have now been lined with this great design solution by the CDGK.

For years, every city government has declared that enchroacments have been the cause of great traffic jams and how they are illegal , how every few months the Faisal Borad, or the city gvernment would come and round up all the cabins, or anything that it thinks comes under the heading of enchroacments. This has resulted in my poor pan wala Bashar’s cabin been taken several several times.

So does the city government thinks (if it thinks at all) that this is a practial solution? NO a big big NO. In half of the places, they have been put up with no consideration about their impact, or the fact that they back many of the shops in these prime locations, thus greatly effecting the business that is already established in the area., one of the instance being the Bahadurabad alley. This “great solution” is simply lined on a footpath intelligently hides away the shop fronts.

Not only that they add to the congestion in the area. Another problem is that the much-hated enchrochments were ditested for so many years, but now this solution is in its essence nothing more than another form of that. They are being placed all over the city on the footpaths literally being a visual barrier and acting as berlin wall, and taking the very little sacred space that a pedestrian has in this country.

Rumors are that in many of the places, people/shop owners have gotten a stay order against these shops, but they have already been made with a cost that comes out of my and your taxes, and thus if the stay order says that it stays, its a kick in the ass to the shop owner and the city over all, and if the courts say that  this “solution” needs to go, then it is still a kick in our ass.

So who is to be held responsible for this thoughtless invasion of boxes in the city? or maybe it was not so thoughtless after all….

P.S: Pictures to come soon


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