The Sialkot international airport, set up by the local exporters on self-help basis in 2007, is still in dire need of road infrastructure in its surroundings, despite the promises of the government to construct these roads for ensuring easy access of the people to it.
Almost all the main and link roads leading to the Sialkot international airport are dilapidated and presenting a look of very miserable situation besides adding to the miseries of passengers. The Sialkot exporters had made their old dream of having an international airport at Sialkot true by establishing it on self-help basis in 2007. But the link and main roads in surroundings of this airport had not been constructed, as promised by the federal and provincial governments.
The main Daska-Sambrial Road, the Kulluwal-Jethikey-Airport Road, Sialkot-Gohadpur-Airport Road, Head Marala-Saidpur Road, the roads of Bajwat villages linking to Sialkot airport are dilapidated for several years.
The people from Pasrur, Badiana, Chawinda, Zafarwal, Shakargarh, Narowal, Gujranwala, Wazirabad, Gujrat and surrounding areas have to suffer great ordeal for reaching Sialkot airport while travelling on 35km main Sialkot-Pasrur Road.
The exporters including Abid Hussain, Arif Mehmood, Aslam Mughal, Sheikh Pervaiz, Ch Allah Rakha, Basharat Ali, Khalid Mehmood Mughal, Bashir Naz, Ghulam Hussain, Amjad Iqbal, Luqman, Rana Liaqat, Qasim and Jehangir expressed grave concern over the miserable situation. They said that the Punjab government remained unable to fulfill its promises regarding the construction of the roads.
They said that the dilapidating roads with three to four feet deep ditches everywhere on these roads often present the scene of ponds of stagnant sewage and rainwater creating hurdles for the travellers.
The exporters added that the miserable condition of these roads was getting worse day by day and also eclipsing the beauty of the Sialkot airport.
Meanwhile, directors of Sialkot International Airport Limited (SIAL) said that these roads have been lying victim of the negligence and ignorance of the elected representatives despite the repeated appeals made by the Sialkot exporters regarding the construction and repairing of these roads. They said that no one has ever bothered to pay attention to these roads.
They said that early repairing/reconstruction of all the roads leading to the airport could jazz up the pace of trade activities besides opening the new vistas of socio-economic development in Pakistan’s first ever “Golden Export Triangle” comprising Sialkot, Gujrat and Gujranwala districts.