[Originally published in The Nation City Page]
ISLAMABAD – Litter can be seen accumulated on the ground at various public places in the Federal capital, despite Islamabad unarguably being the cleanest city in the country.
This is not entirely because the residents of the city lack civic sense, but because they are not always given the opportunity to dispose of trash the way it is supposed to be in a public area.
“I often walk around the market looking for a waste bin, and when I manage to find one, it belongs either to a shopkeeper or the chips wala,” said Adeel Mansoor, a frequent visitor to the busting Jinnah Super market of Islamabad. “How are the citizens supposed to maintain cleanliness when there are no waste bins around?” he further complained.
“I usually take the trash to my car to throw it later, but sometimes I put it in a place where there is already an accumulation of trash in the hope that it will be cleared up,” said Usama Mazhar, a conscientious citizen of Islamabad who was seen looking for a waste bin at the posh Super Market.
In many areas where waste bins have been installed, they are either broken, or over-filled because the authorities are not competent enough to keep a check on them, and employ an efficient waste collection mechanism.
Even though the CDA has employed several people to clean up the markets and roads, most commercial and public areas like parks, markets, tourist spots, etc. need waste bins installed in order for Islamabad to live up to its reputation of a clean and green city.
Moreover, awareness campaigns in schools need to be taken up by the authorities to instill basic civic values in children, and religious institutions like the local Mosques can also be useful in creating awareness about the civil duties of the public.