Quetta: From Little London to a City in Distress

Muhammad Arif Kakar
Quetta, once known as “Little London” for its picturesque beauty and pleasant weather, has experienced a tragic decline in recent years. What was once a tranquil haven, renowned for its majestic mountains, pristine white snow, and lush greenery, has now succumbed to a host of problems that have left its residents frustrated and disheartened. The city grapples with rampant pollution, inadequate infrastructure, rising crime rates, political instability, and economic challenges. The once vibrant streets are now marred by dilapidated buildings and overflowing garbage. Despite its rich cultural heritage and resilient people, Quetta is in dire need of revitalization and support to reclaim its former glory.
 In the past, Quetta was famous for its kind and hospitable people, with calm and peace prevailing throughout the city. However, as time passed, the situation changed, and the effects of urbanization took their toll. The once beautiful roads have now become congested and overwhelmed by the encroachment mafia, who have shamelessly captured every available inch of space, including footpaths.
Illegal parking mafias have also taken control, leaving roads cluttered with parked cars and bikes, making it nearly impossible for motorists to navigate. Pedestrians, too, have been severely affected as footpaths, once a refuge for leisurely walks have been commandeered by these mafias. The loss of these essential amenities has left people frustrated, emotional, and prone to aggressive behavior, tarnishing their kind and hospitable nature.
Adding to the chaos, the city is overwhelmed by an influx of non-custom paid vehicles and rickshaws, operated by untrained and unskilled drivers. The roads of Quetta are now jammed bumper to bumper, and traffic rules have become mere suggestions, disregarded by those in control. This lawlessness on the streets has turned the city into a disorganized mess.
Another pressing issue is the lack of trees and greenery, leading to a city blanketed in dust and polluted air. The beauty that once defined Quetta is now under threat, and the health of its residents is at risk due to the prevalence of respiratory diseases caused by the dusty environment.
Amidst these mounting challenges, it begs the question: Why is the government of Balochistan not taking decisive action to alleviate the suffering of its citizens? Why have policymakers not considered widening roads, constructing flyovers, and installing traffic signals? It seems as though the city’s inhabitants have been left at the mercy of the Almighty, with no leader or owner willing to step forward and address these pressing issues.
Quetta, with its rich history and natural splendor, deserves better. The government must take immediate action to restore the city’s former glory and provide relief to its beleaguered residents. Infrastructure development, including the expansion of roads, construction of flyovers and underpasses, and the installation of traffic signals, is essential to ease congestion and restore order to the chaotic streets.
Moreover, it is imperative to address the encroachment mafia that has captured Quetta’s public spaces. A comprehensive plan should be implemented to reclaim footpaths and ensure that they are accessible to pedestrians once again. Additionally, strict measures must be taken to control illegal parking and impose penalties on those who violate regulations.
Finally, the government should prioritize environmental conservation by launching tree-planting campaigns and implementing dust control measures. By embracing sustainable practices, Quetta can regain its natural beauty and improve the health and well-being of its residents.
Quetta’s residents have endured enough hardship. It is high time for the authorities to take responsibility, show leadership, and work towards restoring the city’s former splendor. Quetta deserves to reclaim its title as “Little London,” a place of beauty, tranquility, and the epitome of hospitality. The citizens of Quetta deserve a city they can be proud of, and the government and its policymakers must make that a reality.
The writer holds master’s degrees in business administration and international relations.
DisclaimerViews expressed in this article are those of the writer and Balochistan Voices does not necessarily agree with them. 
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