RAWALPINDI – Heads of different provincial departments operating in the Rawalpindi district have stopped holding “Khuli Katcheries,” which were considered an effective platform for prompt redressal of public grievances, setting aside clear directives of Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif.

The Punjab Chief Minister had directed all heads of the provincial departments for addressing grievances of the common man through open courts thrice a week on regular basis from 08:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.

Chiefs of various departments including Commissioner, District Coordination Officer, Executive District Officers, Education Board, Allied Hospitals, Police, Food, Livestock, Rawalpindi Development Authority, Park and Horticulture, Housing and Physical Planning, Excise and Taxation, Water and Sanitation Agency, Town Municipal Administration and Regional Transport Authority have not arranged such public forums for last two and a half months.

Expressing anger over the blithe attitude of the concerned officers in resolving their genuine problems, people have demanded stern action against those showing negligence to comply with orders of the Chief Minister.

People have started sending their complaints to the Chief Minister Secretariat Lahore as no open courts are being held to resolve their problems.

Muhammad Azeem Butt, a resident of Karimpura, said people of the area are facing the problem of contaminated water for several months and Water and Sanitation Agency is not ready to repair the broken pipelines of water supply.

He said complaints have been registered with WASA time and again but the concerned staff has turned a deaf ear to the issue, putting the health of residents at risk

Javed Hussain Naqvi, another complainant said that a number of health-hazardous activities are continuing in various residential colonies of the city, violating clear directives of the district government.

He said around 130 illegal factories are functioning in various residential areas of the city, out of which 40 are located in Khyaban-e-Sir Syed, Bagh Sardaran and Khyaban-e-Iqbal areas.

In a joint application to the Punjab chief minister, he informed the news agency that residents of Khyaban-e-Iqbal (old Badar and Bangash colonies) have complained that illegal commercial activities in the area have made their lives miserable because of noxious fumes given off during recycling and leather refining coupled with noise pollution.