As is common with any change of government across the world, the transition from one political party to another often entails a change of priorities and different developmental agendas. However, very rarely do democratic governments scrap or neglect unfinished projects instituted by their predecessors because of the obvious issue of wasted funds and efforts. Massive projects like the Orange Line Metro Train in Lahore, the Sialkot-Gujrat bridge and the final stretch of the Lahore-Multan Motorway lie incomplete under the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) government and no clear information by the government has been provided on when it plans to complete them.

For the Orange Line Metro, the government has stated that it will complete the project by November this year, even though 94% of the work is already complete. This inordinate delay might be down to the decision to re-award maintenance and operational contracts, or it might be a lack of interest in a project that was brought to the fore by the current government’s political rivals. However, it must be remembered that many of these initiatives including the metro are part of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor and must be completed as part of the detailed agreements in place with our northern ally.

Long-term developmental projects cannot be left halfway unfinished not only because of the sunk costs but also due to the inordinate amount of disturbance caused to the public when work is in progress. There is also the added factor of health and safety issues resulting from projects such as these stuck in limbo.

An incomplete bridge, road or metro system, with most of the infrastructure laid out is an accident waiting to happen and can be extremely hazardous to the people that live around the area or frequent it regularly. There is no need to view developmental projects politically and seek to thwart the progress made by previous governments just because a different political party was at the helm. All developmental projects must be treated equally – the objective should be complete them chronologically, not expediting those that are of more personal value to those in power.