By Shareef Ibrahim
As the streets and roads are dug up with open potholes and bumps, most of the streets in Gwadar port town can’t be accessed by vehicles. The cracks and holes get filled with water, thereby creating mud and marshes. In other areas where water has become a rarity, these holes are full of trash and garbage.
The Gwadar Sewerage Project is stuck in the middle causing inconvenience to the Gwadar residents and commuters. The project has not been completed on time as it was supposed to be completed last year.
There are hardly any waste disposal teams in the area so the whole union council presents a garbage scene. The intended facility has become a curse for the citizens.
The provincial and local governments started many projects to uplift Gwadar, the centric city to the famous China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). It is said to be one of the most important projects for Pakistan and its development.
In reality, the so-called “New Hong Kong” and “Pakistan’s Dubai” has its own issues as Gwadaris continue to suffer from the absence of basic amenities of city life.
Dr Abdul Malik, ex-Chief Minister of Balochistan approved a plan to revamp the sewerage system in Gwadar at a cost of 300 million Rupees. Gwadar Development Authority was handed over the allocated amount soon after the approval. The project was supposed to be completed in 18 months. But the project remains far away from completion despite six months running over allocated time.
In the Southern Union Council of Gwadar, all streets were dug to lay down the pipelines and construct water passages. So it was done but due to the use of faulty material, many pipes have cracked and other structures have fallen apart even before completion of the project.
Naseem Baloch, a resident of Shad-o-band ward told Pak Voices saying, “We face a lot of troubles when passing through these streets which have remained dug up for the last two years. Often children fall down in the holes and dugouts.”
He further said, “If it rains, these ditches, pipes and all structures will be filled with water. As none of these sewerage lines is operational, it is feared that our homes will be inundated by the same water as well.”
Khudadad Wajo is the Councillor from southern Union Council, Gwadar who approached Pak Voices to raise and highlight the issue, saying, “We have met many officials of the Gwadar Development Authority (GDA) during the last two years to resolve the issue but to no avail.”
He also questions why the work on the sewerage project had been stopped in the middle adding that they (GDA) say the funds for the project have exhausted and sometimes they say the contractor has run away abandoning the work incomplete.
When Pak Voices contacted Nadir Ali Baloch, an official of GDA, he told us: “The local residents did not let us begin the work citing many similar project failures in the past which caused delays.”
He adds, “Once the work was started the local government jumped in saying the new project would destroy the sewerage system already built by the local government.”
Answering about the delays in the project, GDA official said, “It is stuck in the middle as the contractor has run away. We have sent him a show cause notice. If there is no response within seven days, the contract for the remaining work would be awarded to a new contractor.”
Shareef Ibrahim is working with Pak Voices as a citizen journalist from Gwadar town.
All photo by the author