Waste of Public Money on building unnecessary roadside walls on Murree Road

Saturday, October 15th, 2011 3:55:43 by

Waste of Public Money on building unnecessary roadside walls on Murree Road

Murree is probably the most visited Hill Station of the country, with it fame dating back to the British Era. Murree, a Tahsil of the Rawalpindi district, comprises of the both Hill and Mountainous ecosystems. The lifestyle of the people living in these areas is customized to the requirements of their area.

Mountains have a different geographic orientation as compare to the plains.  Those of you, who have visited Pakistan’s hill station(s) and northern areas, can easily observe the difference in structure of the buildings and infrastructure in general.

Roads are important part of the infrastructure in the mountain areas and they are quite expensive to build.  During your travel, you might have observed the roadside walls, which formally are known as the retaining walls.

These walls are built with the stone, which not only are readily available in these areas, but also provide the much-needed strength and long-term durability.  Initially people set up these retaining walls with simply with the mixture of the mud and limestone.  Some of the remains of the old retaining walls are still present on the Murree road.  The people living in these areas, use the same stone walls (without any mortar or cement) to hold the water to built a reservoir sort of thing, known as “Bunn”.

Later, the mud was replaced by the use of the cement, which was introduced to put strength in the structure. However, unfortunately this has not worked due to the different factors. These include the seepage of water, which reduces the strength of the mortar used in the building of these walls, the force exerted by the landslides etc.

The point here to understand is that water, which seems into the walls, was mixed with the mud and reinforces the walls by forming a strong bond with the stones.  Besides, providing the strength these walls provide a great ambiance to the environment overall.

In a recent move, the Government of Punjab has decided to build the walls in front of these stone walls with the hollow blocks. These hollow blocks are neither re enforced nor can they act a retaining wall, as even a light traffic vehicle can run through them easily.  Besides this, it is expected that they will plaster these block walls to smoothen their surface.

Worth mentioning is the fact that building these structures and their subsequent maintenance bears a considerable amount of cost and keeping in view the prevailing crunch economic situation, it’s a total waste of the public money.

However, this is not the first occasion in which the current set up has initiated the projects, which are ecologically and socially vulnerable. Most importantly, it will take away a part of identification of the local people and in future, we might have someone coming and trying to flatten out the peaks.

The “doers” need to understand that mountains are mountains, plains are plains, and what for Plains cannot look good on mountains, no matter whatever they spent.

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