SIALKOT-The PML-N has failed to complete the projects it started after coming to power five years ago.

No one was ready to talk about the ‘reasons’ behind this inordinate delay in the completion of projects including Shehbaz Sharif Flyover in Sialkot City.

The mega project, most loved by the local parliamentarians, was still lying incomplete here in Sialkot. Manager of this project has given June 30, 2018, as another final deadline for the completion of this project.

However, it was learnt that the Punjab Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif was also expected to inaugurate the project before May 31, 2018 before the completion of its tenure. Khawaja Muhammad Asif (former foreign minister) visited the site and reviewed the pace of construction of this project. He expressed grave concerns over the inordinate delay in the completion of this mega project.

According to official sources, the Punjab government has spent Rs.960 million for the construction of 2.6km long and 57 feet wide Shehbaz Sharif Flyover at Sialkot city’s congested China Chowk locality for lessening the increasing traffic flow on inter-city roads in the city.

The project was started on May 12, 2017 and was scheduled to be completed on December 31, 2017. This has not yet been completed due to some certain reasons despite giving the two or three deadlines for its completion.

Now, the tenure of Punjab government was ending on May 31, 2018, but it remained failed in getting this project completed.

The inordinate delay in the completion of grand project was irking the people greatly who were already perturbed due to three month-long closure of Sialkot city’s congested Kashmir Road near China Chowk for traffic by the district administration. Though, the Sialkot traffic police had given a traffic diversion plan, but the people were lying much perturbed here as most of the private schools and colleges were also located along Sialkot city’s congested and main Kashmir Road.

The hours-long traffic jams have become a daily routine here as the long queues of the vehicles can be witnessed there in such sizzling hot and humid weather here on Kashmir Road of Sialkot city.

The perturbed students said that this road closure was forcing the students (both boys and girls) and even their teachers and parents to walk about several kilometres to reach their educational institutions and back to their vehicles.

Almost all the main entry and exit points of Sialkot city’s Kashmir Road, China Chowk, Defence Road, Head Marala Road have been lying closed for about the last three months due to which the business community and especially the general public was suffering from great ordeal in this regard. This situation was also badly affecting and hampering the trade and business activities of the local traders, industrialists and exporters, as their containers, carrying import and exports products and even the raw materials, were unable to enter their factories located at Sialkot city due to the closure of the main Kashmir Road for traffic near China Chowk.

The perturbed business community said that this situation was also causing delay in releasing their export consignments to the foreign destinations, as they were unable to ensure timely dispatch of their export shipments, due to which their foreign buyers were considering to cancel their import orders already placed to Sialkot exporters.

The Sialkot district administration had first given a deadline of December 31, 2017 and then gave March 31, 2018 for the completion of this project, but now both of these deadlines have passed but the project is still incomplete, with the very slow pace of construction work.

March 31, 2018, the final deadline also passed, but the construction work of sewerage system, service roads and installations of electrical lights and water lines were still lying incomplete there.

The officials of the Sialkot Highways Department said the delayed issuance of the development funds by the Punjab government was the main reason behind inordinate delay in the completion of this mega project.

However, Project Manager Abdul Nasir told the visiting Khawaja Muhammad Asif (former foreign minister) in the presence of local Parliamentarians and newsmen that now this project would be completed by the end of June 2018. As it would be the final deadline for the completion of this project, he added.

Sale of fruit picks up with

rise in mercury

The sale of the watermelons, melons and mangoes, chilled in the canal waters, has picked up following an increase in temperature in the Sialkot region.

The vendors have illegally set up makeshift sale points at the banks of the rivers Chenab, Tavi, Jammu, seasonal Naullahs Aik, Dek, Bhed, Palkhu, canals Bambaanwala-Ravi-Baidian (BRB) Daska, Marala-Ravi-Link (MR Link) Motra-Daska-Pasrur, Upper Chenab Canal (UCC) Sambrial and Lower Chenab Canal without permission of local municipalities.

A large number of the people, mostly the youngsters, remained busy swimming and bathing in the canals and even in Rivers Chenab, Tavi and Jammu to beat the scorching heat there.

The vendors were charging their desired inflated rates of these water melons, melons and even the mangoes, chilled in the waters of canals and waters, from the visiting people.

This practice still goes unchecked, as the vendors have established these makeshift stalls of the melons illegally at the banks of the rivers and the canals by offering the visitors special services of eating the water melons, melons and mangoes while sitting on the big-sized charpoys floating over the water along the banks of the canals in Head Marala-Sialkot, Daska, Sambrial, Pasrur, Badiana, Chawinda and surrounding areas.

A large number of the sizzling hot weather and prolonged power loadshedding beaten people thronged the above-mentioned picnic spots for picnicking and bathed in the rivers and canals, violating the official ban.

A rush of the people including women and children was witnessed at these picnic spots especially at Head Marala near Sialkot.

Several people said that though the vendors were overcharging the prices of these chilled water, but the perturbed people, beaten by blazing sun, were enjoying getting chilled water melons while sitting along the banks of the rivers and canals in some cold weather there. The district administration of Sialkot has already imposed ban on picnicking and bathing along the banks of the rivers, canals and water channels in Sialkot district.