OKARA-The economically viable project, Syedwala Bridge over River Ravi, about 40km north-east from Okara city, has finally been completed after a lapse of 40 years.

According to official sources, Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi has been scheduled to inaugurate the bridge on March 24, 2018.

The bridge would link Vehari, Bahwalnagar, Sahiwal and Pakpattan districts via Okara to Sheikhupura and Faisalabad districts. Besides, it would also provide a link to Islamabad and Rawalpindi from Okara and Lahore through motorway, shortening 100km distance of the earlier route through GT road.

It is to be noted that the bridge leads to Syedwala area in north which lies 40km away from Nankana district. Thirty five kilometres of the 20ft wide and 40km long road were in dilapidated condition. Villagers, living along the road, including Mehr Amir Ali Kalason and Iftikhar Ahmed Bhatti told this correspondent that more than 20km of the road linking Syedwala area to Nankana district had been devastated.

"So, it has been very troublesome for the motorists, especially the drivers of heavy buses and the loaded lorries to get their vehicles drive through the villages sat alongside the road," they said, and adding that there lied a turn at every three or four kilometres on the road which made driving more difficult.

It is pertinent to mention here that a need for the bridge over River Ravi was realised during the regime of Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto in 1975. Later in 1985, during Gen Zia rule, construction work was begun by then MNA of the area, Syed Sajjad Haider. But its completion had been remained a distant dream until March 2018.