The ruling elite seem to have some lopsided goals for development and planning of districts. Comparing some facts from the last 5 years shows that there is a huge influx of people aspiring to settle in the big cities and provincial metropolitans. We build broader roads, more underpasses, and overhead bridges to tackle the insane amount of traffic. Universities see more and more intake of students lowering their admission criteria and deteriorating quality of education. Schemes like the National Outreach Program seem to be conspiring against the existing quality of education. We invite people from backward areas to settle in the big cities at the cost of the prevalent educational standards and do not invest a penny to improve and establish subsidised high quality educational institutions in their hometown.

If we step back and approach the problem from another perspective, it seems the answer is quite simple. The government should invest in the uplift of smaller cities: make better schools, hospitals, universities, and ensure better law and order in the country to invite investment and establish new manufacturing plants and factories in smaller cities; to provide for employment opportunities throughout the country.

Concentrating in only the big cities is proving to be counter-productive. Property price hike due to the outrageous extension of major cities is unimaginable, rendering it impossible for a salaried class individual to get a reasonable shelter for himself. Hospitals are always overwhelmed and patients can never expect to get proper medical attention. Majority of patients are never able to reach these big cities and they either pass away on their way to a well-equipped hospital or are ill-treated at the hands of quacks and under-qualified staff in their hometown.

Effects of uneven population distribution are frightening and our leaders seem to turn a deaf ear at this and continue making eye-washers and approving projects that have enough superficial value that can earn them some votes in prospective elections.

MUHAMMAD SALAHUDDIN KHAN,

Islamabad, September 11.