SIALKOT-The Rs4 billion widening project of the seasonal Nullah Palkhu has not even been launched though the government had last year announced to complete it till June 15, 2017 to save the nearby areas from flood disaster.

It is in a doldrums as the local people of Chitti Sheikhaan and surrounding localities have refused to sell the land on rate lower than the market value.

The Punjab government had announced a Rs4 billion project to widen the Nullah near Sialkot last year. Under the project, it was to be widened to 101 feet besides diverting of its route out of village Nangal and the other surrounding areas of the Sialkot city in a bid to save these areas from flood disasters.

Now, the local people have clearly refused to give their precious lands to the district administration, saying that they were not ready to give their land because the district administration was offering them very low prices of their lands against the actual market value. The people already got stay orders against the project. The project is in a doldrums near a local graveyard at Chitti Sheikhaan locality, as the graveyard comes in the way of this seasonal Nullah due to the poor planning by the district administration.

The people were also not allowing the district administration to demolish the ancient graveyard for widening of the Nullah to ensure smooth flow of floodwater.

It was to be completed before the start of the monsoon. Now, the rain season is on, but the Rs.5 billion project is still lying incomplete and the surroundings of Sialkot city were still at great risk of being flooded again this year. The local people have urged the government to look into the matter for early completion of the project in the large public interest.

19 HELD: The Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) has arrested 19 proclaimed offenders (POs), two notorious POs named in FIA’s Red Book and 108 notorious human traffickers. It unearthed six illegal money exchanges during its ongoing vigorous operation.

The drive was launched in Gujranwala Division’s all the six Sialkot, Narowal, Gujrat, Mandi Bahauddin, Hafizabad and Gujranwala districts. According to the Khald Anees (Divisional Deputy Director FIA), the FIA has also recovered Rs10 million from these accused human traffickers, which they had taken from the innocent people for sending them abroad illegally by showing them the golden dreams of their lucid future in abroad.

Customs seizes six trucks

of Indian items

The anti-smuggling squad of Sialkot Customs seized a bulk quantity of Indian-made smuggled things loaded in six trucks during special checking at various spots. The Customs officials foiled the major attempt of smuggling of Indian articles being supplied to the local markets in Sialkot, Narowal, Gujrat, Mandi Bahauddin, Hafizabad and Gujranwala districts.

The senior Customs officials told newsmen that on directions of Collector Customs Sialkot Ahmed Raza Khan, the teams of anti smuggling squad led by senior officials raided various places and seized the six big trucks loaded with the smuggled things including cloths, lemons, cumin, tea, shampoos, mobile phones, laptops, electronics and other dry spices during special checking.

Customs officials arrested the six accused drivers of the seized trucks and have sent them behind bars after registering separate cases.

Meanwhile, the special recovery teams of the Excise and Taxation Department sealed 400 properties of the chronic defaulters besides impounding 261 other luxury vehicles for the non-payment of their taxes, during the ongoing recovery campaign launched in Sialkot, Narowal, Gujrat, Mandi Bahauddin, Hafizabad and Gujranwala districts.

The senior E&T officials said that the E&T teams have issued the repeated recovery notices to these defaulters for the payment of their arrears but they remained reluctant to pay their outstanding prolonged pending dues, due to which their properties have been sealed.