A few decades ago, Lahore used to be a peaceful, lively city. It had a life of its own, unlike any other city in the country. However, over the years, there has been deterioration. The law and order, congested roads and environmental mess we face today is the cumulative effect of bad planning. The departments concerned, as an easy way out, put the blame on population growth. The question is: did they not know that future planning had to be done taking that factor into account?

The worst damage has been done by sanctioning huge concrete monsters without taking into consideration the environmental factors. Anyone who has a square inch of land wants to make a 20-storey structure there. The idea is not to blame any single department because there are multiple factors at play in creating this situation. There is no inter-departmental coordination. One day a road is made, the next day some other department digs it up to lay a cable etc. We must never forget that no matter how developed a city may be, it is human beings who have to reside there. Very little can be done to improve the quality of life of the citizens of Lahore, if the human factor does not take priority above every thing else. I leave it to the experts in the field to decide what can be done to remedy the situation and prevent it from becoming worse. However, I do have a simple suggestion to improve the well being of the citizens: plant as many trees as possible. There is a Chinese proverb, “One generation plants the trees; another gets the shade.”

MUHAMMAD SARMAD ALAMGIR,

Lahore, July 1.