INSTEAD of spending on the rehabilitation of life in the flood-affected villages through infrastructural development, the government once again is spending on projects in the big cities. Such unnecessary, or at least untimely, development had made the underprivileged vulnerable to the calamity in the past and now the state’s pursuit to spend in big cities in the form of towers and mass transit is not a good omen.

Had there been a planned development of towns close to every cluster of 20-30 villages, there would have been less inequality and poverty in the country. People could easily access modern hospitals, better colleges, advanced technology and better employment opportunities closer to their homes.

Had the governments spent on the development of dams and preparation for mitigating disasters, we would not have been through such huge losses. People move to urban areas not because they want to, but because they have to. Opportunities in their own areas are all but non-existent.

If the government even today starts planning towns closer to village clusters in different areas, people will get employment and country will grow economically.

Besides, the government should pursue a climate-intensive development model. When it allows the installation of an industrial plant, it should ensure that the said plant has mechanism to take care of the element of environmental pollution through any suitable mean, including plantation.

Such development is really what we should be targeting rather than towers and plazas.

Muhammad Mohtasim
Mandi Bahauddin

Published in Dawn, December 7th, 2022

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