Not planning and not enforcing the rules over the past decade has resulted in a new kind of problem, that is, commercial activities in residential areas. The boom in population and economy has allowed new entrepreneurs to start their new businesses, while also forced many businesses to expand over the past decade.

But due to bad planning, the authorities have failed to create new commercial areas at the same rate as the demand, resulting in many businesses starting commercial activities in residential areas. The same authorities have also criminally neglected to enforce any rules over the past many years, allowing these businesses to establish customers, revenue and also employee a substantial workforce, creating a situation where it is difficult to remove these businesses from these locations without facing opposition.

Take the example of University Town in Peshawar, once considered a posh, quite, safe and green residential area. It is now host to over 350 businesses, including 70 educational institutes. One such institute is located right in front of my house.

Each day I witness the hundreds of students and their families, suffer trying to pick up or drop their children. While I and the other home owners of the street have to suffer heavy traffic, loud noise, pollution and property damage. Even the educational institute owner have to suffer the complaints and the incapacity to grow or improve their institute.

The Government of Pakistan are suffering as most of these businesses do not use commercial electricity, gas and do not pay the commercial property taxes. And lastly the University Town Committee, the governing body of University town, is suffering the damage caused to its roads, sewage, water supply etc.

Since unchecked or regulated commercial activities in designated residential areas are a problem for everyone, therefore the Government of Pakistan and Governing institutes of these residential areas are requested to formulate a plan, where the commercial businesses are moved to new custom built locations, that cater to their particular needs. And the businesses that are allowed to stay in the residential areas are ordered to fulfill requirements of parking, security etc.

I also think that the businesses that operate in residential areas should be asked to pay for the beautification of the entire street, to discourage commercial activities in residential areas, while also reduce tension with local residents, as practically all of these businesses cannot be moved to new locations.


Peshawar, September 3.