RAWALPINDI  - Contrary to the tall claims of Punjab Government about ensuring good governance, a number of health-hazardous activities are continuing in various residential colonies of the city, violating clear directives of the district government.

Under the Punjab Local Government Ordinance no business activities could be carried out in housing colonies and the Tehsil Municipal Administration (TMA) Officer concerned is bound to ensure conducive atmosphere for citizens.

The Badar Colony, now part of Khayaban-e-Iqbal, adjoining the Pirwadhai area - is among one of the localities where illegal businesses, including recycling of plastic for shoe making, leather refining and scrap-trade on a large scale are rampant, causing environmental and health hazards for the inhabitants.

Residents of the area told APP that the illegal commercial activities in the area had made their lives difficult as they have to face unpleasant smell of chemicals used in plastic recycling and leather’s refining coupled with a lot of noise pollution.

They expressed great concern about health of their children, which was at risk due to such hazardous activities.

Iftikhar, a resident of the area, alleged that residential area was being used for commercial purpose in connivance with the TMA staff as no one could dare to start their business without their (TMA) backing.

He was of the view that ‘Monthly’ was given on regular basis to run illegal business in housing colonies to shut their mouth, close their eyes and for turning a deaf ear to the issue.

Talking to APP, former Tehsil Member of Rawal Town Council Shahida Shabir stressed upon the District Coordination Officer to take immediate notice of the issue and clear the residential area of ‘lethal activities’, which has become a hub for various kind of commercial activities.   

She said the health-hazardous activities have polluted the environment and made the lives of its inhabitants miserable.

She feared breaking out of lethal diseases due to unhealthy activities, which are going on day and night there, adding “the number of asthma patients is increasing in the colony.”

When contacted, TMA Town Officer (Regulations) Malik Tauseef Ahmed rejected the impression of taking ‘Monthly’ by any TMA staff and said that all-out efforts were being made to end the commercial activities from residential areas.

Interestingly, he said, TMA takes action only after receiving a complaint for particular area or business/factory/plant/shop. Without any complaint, the TMA does not move, he said in reply to a question.

“If someone has complaint, he can file an application with TMA and action will be taken in accordance with the law,” he maintained.

Javed and Haider, residents of the house in whose rear side a bakery, shoe factories and scrap godowns are occurred, complained that the smoke emitted from the burning of scrap material, bakery items and recycling of plastic for shoe making enter their houses from the windows of their rear side rooms due to which their children are becoming patients of asthma and sour eyes.

In the hot weather conditions, they could not shut the windows. They urged the TMA authorities to take action against the owners of illegal and hazardous businesses going on in the Badar Colony.