The Government has announced two-day, Thursday and Friday, weekend off in Government offices in capital Kabul. The decision is ‘an effort’ to reduce pollution in the city. Citizens have been requested to avoid driving their vehicles on Mondays, to reduce traffic and pollution. Its a step to escape solution. There has been a rapid increase in the population of Kabul because of the rural influx and repatriation of refugees.Additional weekend off will definitely not reduce the population, which has increased between 4-5 million. Due to the ill-management, Kabul is probably one the most polluted capitals of the world.
Being one of the most backward capitals too, our traffic system is ridiculous. Traffic cops control vehicles with terrible loudspeakers in the city, using very abusive language. You would be surprised to know that most parts of the city got its traffic lights last year. Though there were lights on some important junctions and posh areas of the city, but the main populated center was without traffic lights. But it will take another decade until people learn the culture of following traffic rules. More traffic cops are needed on roads, while the Traffic Department must control number of issuing licence to vehicles. Sometimes I feel like there are more vehicles than people on roads.
The polluted environment is causing severe diseases. Respiration diseases are most common in Kabul hospitals. Slum populations, factories and shops all use electricity generators, due to the power breakdown and load-shedding. Smoke from the vehicles is toxic. The solution to the air pollution is that the Government must launch a plan of CNG-using-vehicles. There should be planning for population control in the capital, vehicles should be bound to use quality fuel. We also don’t have a proper sewerage system in the city. Dirty water and drains flow on roads and streets spreading disease. And when it rains, the roads present a view of flood. An additional day off will reduce a day of tension with all these problems, but it won’t solve. The Mayor’s Office and other concerned quarters of the Government must control the increasing deadly pollution by planning, not increasing the off days.