OURS is a unique country in many ways. For instance, in other countries, property prices around the airports are low because of noise pollution. In Pakistan, however, housing societies, developers, investors and would-be residents rush to such a vicinity. For some odd reason that I cannot fathom, it is fashionable to live near airports.
Take the latest example of Islamabad airport, which has attracted two large housing societies to its vicinity. We had seen a similar story in Lahore a couple of decades ago. The downside is that all populated localities produce garbage, and that attracts birds. In turn, the birds are hazardous for flight safety.
All of us know this, but do precious little to stop this dangerous trend. It would appear that greed for money trumps all odds, including noise pollution and flight safety considerations. All said and done, the government and its building control departments should stop being mere bystanders, and do their jobs more effectively. What is the point ini waiting for an unfortunate incident to happen?
Former ambassador Javed Hafiz
Published in Dawn, September 25th, 2023