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Plastic choking Peshawar’s drainage system

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PESHAWAR:

While most of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s (K-P) capital stayed safe from the onslaught of the torrential rains, some areas suffered due to a glaring plastic problem which choked the city’s drainage system.

The recent monsoon flooding did not affect Peshawar as it did Swat, Nowshera, and Charsadda but it exposed the city’s reliance on plastic and the residents’ lack of sensitization to how harmful plastic is to drainage systems. Noreen, a student in the Chamkani area of the provincial capital, where drains were flooded due to the rain, said that her village uses plastic heavily.

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“Everywhere you see there are huge piles of garbage full of bags, wrappers, and cartons which eventually end up in the drains,” she informed this correspondent, “however, there is no garbage collection nor do the municipal corporation teams come into rural areas of Peshawar to clean.” The grade 9 student said that she along with her school fellows had tried multiple times to create awareness regarding plastic usage but to no avail. “Since the municipal corporation does not pay heed to rural areas, those who live here think plastic usage is okay.” Similarly, Parvez, who lives in the Rano Garhi village of Peshawar, said that there was a time when the canals surrounding their area used to be clean but are now full of plastic, especially bags.

“Back in the old days everyone used to have cloth bags and reusable materials but now the vegetables, milk, monthly groceries, and everything else comes in plastic bags.” Parvez, like Noreen, pointed out that due to a lack of awareness all the plastic then ends up in the village’s canals and drains which flood whenever there is heavy rainfall. On the other hand, environmental activist Sara Hayat, believes that plastic is not a rural area problem but the entirety of K-P suffers from it. Hayat opined that the provincial government has not paid any heed to the province’s plastic problem and would only realise the gravity of the situation later on.

Presently, as per government sources, the K-P government has completed legislation regarding the ban on use of plastic shopping bags, under which the plastic factories across the province will be stopped from manufacturing shopping bags and will be bound to manufacture recyclable bags. However, according to a report of the Provincial Management and Reforms unit, a campaign against plastic shopping bags has been going on for two years in K-P and about a 100 factories were sealed in Peshawar, Mardan and other districts of the province but most have reopened after getting stay orders from the courts.Spokesperson of Water and Sanitation Company in Peshawar, Hasan Khan, when asked about the province’s plastic problem, said that the government spends millions of rupees every year but the residents do not cooperate.

“Every year we clean drains and canals of plastic but the citizens keep on depending on plastic. If they cooperated with us then we could reduce the plastic pollution to a great extent,” Khan told The Express Tribune.

Published in The Express Tribune, September 21st, 2022.

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K-P

Constable martyred, 2 police posts attacked

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SWAT/
KOHAT/
LAKKI MARWAT:

Both terrorists and law enforcement agencies had a field day across Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) on Friday as two police posts were attacked in Swat and Lakki Marwat and one constable was shot dead in Kohat district.

Three terrorists were killed in encounters by Counter Terrorism Department (CTD), police and security forces in Swat and Lakki Marwat operations.

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A police constable was shot dead around midnight in Kohat’s Gumbat area who was on his way home from duty.

“Constable Saifullah was currently posted at district security branch of police and after completion of duty he was on his way home when unidentified men opened fire at him, killing him on the spot,” said a police official while talking to The Express Tribune.

The official said that the slain policeman was the son of former district nazim Kohat Dilbar Khan Advocate and was from a very influential family.

“He was rushed to hospital where he was pronounced dead on arrival,” he said, adding that it was clearly a case of terrorism.

The deceased left behind a widow, two sons and two daughters.

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The last rites of the police constable were offered at Kohat Police Lines after which the coffin was sent to the deceased’s ancestral graveyard for burial.

Three terrorists killed

In Tang Darra of Lakki Marwat district two terrorists were killed in an intelligence based operation in the mountainous region.

Police and security forces conducted an IBO after receiving information about a camp of militants in the mountains. Terrorists offered stiff resistance and two of them were killed in the exchange of fire. The rest managed to escape.

The operation was started on Thursday evening and continued till Friday morning. One suspected militant was also arrested.

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In Swat CTD claimed thwarting a terrorism plot and killing one terrorist.

CTD and police conducted a search operation in Maglor area of the district. During the IBO operation terrorists fired at police vehicles and one of them was killed in return fire. The terrorist was later identified as Adil Zeb resident of Manglor. Police claimed that he was involved in IED attack at peace committee member Idrees Khan and targeted attack at Shirin Khan. One terrorist managed to escape in injured condition.

Police stations attacked

In a more brazen move, militants attacked a police station and threw three hand grenades at it in Lakki Marwat. Police, however, responded with agility and the attackers were forced to flee.

There was no loss of life in the attack.

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In a separate incident in Swat, terrorists attacked the residential quarters of DSP Saidu Sharif but the attack was repulsed and the attackers escaped under the cover of darkness.

All the three incidents caused widespread panic in the area.

Published in The Express Tribune, September 24th, 2022.



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Ayub Teaching Hospital gets digital X-ray machine

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ABBOTTABAD:

A modern digital X-ray machine worth Rs5 million was installed in the emergency department of Ayub Teaching Hospital (ATH) Abbottabad on Thursday.

This facility will be useful not only for the people of the Hazara division but also for patients coming from Gilgit and Azad Kashmir.

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Three Computed Radiography (CR) systems were purchased for the Radiology Department of the hospital, one of these were installed in ATH emergency, while the remaining two CRs will be installed in the main radiology department. This would save the patients the trouble of having to go to the second floor to get their X-rays done.

With the addition of the three CR systems, all the departments would be shifted to a digital X-ray facility. The Board of Governors of Ayub Medical Institution has also approved the installation of more modern machines for the improvement of the hospital and to ensure better facilities for the patients. Through this advanced digital X-ray machine, the entire body will be scanned. However, the X-ray would be taken only of the required part.

Wild boars destroy crops

The people of Qalandar Abad were gripped with panic as they found wild boars in their villages during broad daylight. Standing maze crops in the villages of Banda Peer Khan, Kareem Abad, Maira Batang, Kaloor, Chuntry, Tarhanna, Boji and Mary Pattyan were destroyed by the animals.

Published in The Express Tribune, September 23rd, 2022.

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Schemes for Peshawar’s facelift okayed

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PESHAWAR:

Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) Chief Minister Mahmood Khan has formally approved three new projects under the Peshawar Uplift Program Phase-II in addition to directing the district administration to launch a strict crackdown against professional beggars across the province.

Chairing a meeting regarding Uplift Program Phase-II, the chief minister ordered completion of Hayatabad trail and other ongoing schemes under the scheme, further directing a proper maintenance and management plan to make these initiatives worthwhile and sustainable.

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The chief minister directed the district administration to take pragmatic steps to discourage and root out professional beggary which has become a nuisance not only for locals but also for people visiting the provincial capital from other districts and provinces.

While briefing the chief minister about the progress on the ongoing projects under the project, it was revealed that designing and planning of 20 various schemes had been completed, approved and tenders of these schemes would also be floated soon.

The 6-km Hayatabad Trail would be completed at an estimated cost of Rs803 million which would have the state of the art recreational facilities including jogging and cycle tracks, green belts, public toilets, tuck shops, kids zone, sit-outs, open gym, futsal, amphitheatre, badminton and basketball courts, library, ladies gym, skating area etc.

It would be a unique trail of its kind having four entry points at different sites connecting all the phases of Hayatabad.

Published in The Express Tribune, September 23rd, 2022.

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