SIALKOT - Amidst a number of road projects left incomplete about seven to 10 years ago, the Punjab government has approved the dualization of Sialkot-Eimanabad Road to connect Sialkot to Lahore through Mureedkey.

As per several public speeches made by Khawaja Muhammad Asif, the federal minister for Defence and water & power, the federal government has included the road project in the coming fiscal budget for allocation of the needed funds.

He had also announced that both the federal and provincial governments were keenly considering on the mega project of establishing an “Express Way” between Sialkot and Lahore. He had pledged that the mega project would be initiated soon, which would open the new vistas of socioeconomic development in the region.

Criticising the project approval, the local people disclosed the Daska-Pasrur was dilapidated and should be repaired first as it needed to be reconstructed on top priority before the dualisation of Sialkot-Eimanabad Road and establishing the Express Way between Sialkot and Lahore. Early reconstruction of Daska Pasrur road was the demand of the day to give some relief to the prolonged perturbed local people.

They urged the governments to re-affix their priorities, in this regard and ensure the reconstruction of the Daska-Pasrur Road. The twenty five kilometre Daska-Pasrur Road has developed three to four feet deep ditches almost everywhere due to the alleged slackness of the local elected public representatives. It facilitates more than 200,000 people of 200 villages of these tehsils. The people intending to go Daska, Pasrur, Chawinda, Qila Kalarwala, Zafarwal and Narowal have been facing great difficulties.

They said that no vehicle even the donkey-carts were able to pass through these ditches safely which often present a look of pond with the drainage and rainy water during the rain. Even no one can pass by foot through this road safely, they said.

Local social, political, religious and business circles strongly protested against the situation. Talking to the newsmen, they said that hundreds of the thousands people frequently travel through the dilapidated and shabby road besides hundreds of farmers who bring their agricultural produce in local marketes through the road.

They pointed out that the road was constructed 12 years ago, since then it had never been repaired. The travelling of minutes was being done in hours due to very slow movement of vehicles, they added and said that dozens of the main dacoity and robbery incidents have been occurred on the road. 

They said that Federal Minister for Science and Technology Zahid Hamid, MNA Sahibzada Syed Iftikharul Hassan and MPAs Mohsin Ashraf Baryar and Muhammad Asif Bajwa had made several promises regarding the early construction of the main road before the 2008 general elections and now even in the 2013 general elections. But, they regretted, after winning the polls, they had not honoured their political promises yet.

They further said the construction and dualization of 46km Sialkot-Daska-Gujranwala Road had also been left incomplete for the last six consecutive years due to some unknown reasons. The local people urged Punjab chief minister to ensure early completion of these projects first.

Meanwhile, the Rs1 billion mega project of construction and dualisation of Sialkot-Sambrial-Wazirabad Road is incomplete despite the passage of six consecutive years due to which people and traders have been suffering great ordeal. In 2004, then chief minister Pervaiz Elahi had laid the foundation stone of the project ten years ago.

The project had to be completed in a stipulated period of two years in 2006. Later, the PML-Q provincial government was changed in Punjab. The construction of the drain Naullahs and service road has also not yet been completed here.

As per Sialkot trade bodies, the situation was halting the pace of the trade activities in the region, while the people have been suffering from several throat, chest and stomach diseases due to the clouds of dust hover over the area, as the road was dug up by the construction company.

Meantime, hundreds of the people from Daska tehsil’s Kandan Sayyan, Mitraanwali and surrounding villages staged a protest demonstration against the delay in repairing of the main Kandan Sayyan-Mitraanwali Road.

Talking to newsmen at Daska, the protesters said that the road was never reconstructed during the last one decade. This road connects the dozens of the surrounding villages. They said that the road presented a look of the ponds with several feet deep ditches on the road.

Besides, Sialkot-Daska-Gujranwala Road and Sialkot-Sambrial-Wazirabad Road projects have also been left incomplete for the last seven consecutive years. Following the growing number of traffic and establishment of the factories along both of these roads, the provincial government had announced these projects.

Some officials of the provincial high department said that these projects had been delayed due to shortage of funds while the actual cost of these projects had increased to manifold. Thus, it was impossible for the contractors to continue the construction on the several years old projects, they concluded.