For the provincial government the utilization of development funds is probably most important thing for its movers and shakers. The politicians and bureaucrats alike are not much interested whether these funds are spent judiciously or wastefully. Main thrust is the maximum utilization of funds even if that required jugglery of figures, as has been the case under most of the governments. This is one of the barometers to judge the government performance. So, as the financial year is closing, one witnesses development activity all around in Punjab whether it is justified or not. Much to the surprise of everybody watching the city's planners and developers in order to post a higher percentage of utilization of development funds started carpeting roads that were not broken. Some of these roads were newly built. In other cases, we witness apatchwork being done on newly built roads. This provides us a glimpse of how budget making is done and how planning is done and development is executed in the province and what is the end product. Over the years it seems that development has been made without any method or making any real assessment of the needs of a certain area. Most of the time it is old wine in new bottle, lacking imagination and purposeful development, hardly promising anything to improve the lives of the people. It seems that in our city the development agencies and bureaucrats concerned have a very myopic definition of development. Building roads, streets and drain is what they call development, as if they are easy pickings for the planners. This is one reason why the development makes little impact on the lives of the people despite billion of rupees being spent under this head. For example in the last 30 years we have witnessed in our area (Township) same roads being built and rebuilt over and over again. It seems that once a road is developed the development agencies and developers started praying for its demise. Sooner the better for them. In this sort of development it is the officials and people associated with the development that are its real beneficiaries and not the area people which should have been the case. Interestingly, we see their prayers being realized sooner than latter and just in couple of years or slightly more we are preparing for the rituals once again. Interestingly, there is hardly any mechanism to challenge such a wasteful practice to check how come a road has such a short span of life. In the last eight years since the advent of the new Local government system huge funds have been allocated to different tiers of the local bodies. Yet we do not see any improvement in the lives of the people or impact of the development carried out during these years. With cities grown in size and population and localities within cities going through a massive expansion this kind of development approach is hardly affordable for political governments. While the roads are being built again and again, we see a very little happening in other sectors including health, education transportation. For example, in our area no new school or college has been established for the last 30 years though the area has expanded a lot with increasing population. Likewise, we never have come across any new dispensary being set up for the good of people who otherwise have to cover quite a distance to visit a hospital. Similarly, the young kids have to go to schools in areas outside their localities to go to school. Unfortunately, such a pattern of development is hardly affordable when we have financial constrains and we bankroll our deficit through a begging bowl. The money spent on useless schemes could be diverted to schemes that are much more relevant to the needs of the people. But for this we need a new mechanism of development. We do not know how our development agencies at the moment assess the requirement of a certain areas. We need also to think beyond this road, street and drain syndrome. E-mail: nadeemsyed@nation.com.pk