Friday, August 5, 2011

The Future Rawalpindi: The Biggest Urban Planning Mistake I suppose

Few days back, my cousin came to Islamabad, and I had a chance to move around in Islamabad with him due to some domestic chaos. But the thing which disturbed me the most was the unplanned and unexpected vastness in Islamabad map. I was so astonished to see that Islamabad is situated rather covering all four sides of Rawalpindi. How strange but true.

Let us start from EME College near Peshawar Mor. Straight to east till Faizabad, then on south till IST, and then be back on GT Road till Peshawar Mor. This is the whole city of Rawalpindi. Islamabad is situated in north in the form of sectors, in south and east in the form of DHAs, ASKARIs, BAHRIAS and other residential colonies. More sectors are being planned and constructed in west as well. The new Islamabad Airport is being constructed in the south west of Rawalpindi city in the map.

This is the map of Rawalpindi in red line. Islamabad has been all around it now.

This might be something new to many of my readers but this is how ground had been planned and broke down. And what I think, it is the biggest urban planning mistake of the era. Due to the following reasons:

  • The four sides covering Rawalpindi are elite of Pakistan. So there is going to be ultimate inferiority complex in the citizens of Rawalpindi which is going to create many social problems.
  • This inferiority complex is going to bring up many social crimes.
  • The cultural heritage of Rawalpindi is going to be lost due to this elite covering who do not know about what is culture and what importance it carries.
  • There are going to be the problems of urban transport as in Islamabad, there is very less urban transport but in Rawalpindi, every body depends upon urban transport. So there are going to be the problems associated to common man's life.
  • There are going to be schooling problems, water shortage problems, and waste removal and its dumping etc.
  • There are many more which require one post per problem. Above given is just an over view. 
In the light of above grim picture of future which the city of Rawalpindi awaits, I must  say that planning Islamabad in such a way was perhaps on of the biggest urban planning mistake.

I am not some urban planner, so I can not suggest some solution to this problem. But I am writing because I feel there is something wrong here, some mistake I felt. Anyway, this is duty of government officials associated to urban planning department to make some surveys and then plan it in some better way. Although above mentioned has been built. But something can be done for future.

If serious steps are not taken, one day Rawalpindi is going to merge in Islamabad. Then a culture, a history, a city, a complete life cycle would be lost. And there would be no way left to recover it. Make it before its too late. Allah bless Pakistan.

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