BAHAWALPUR: The government has completed its five year tenure but it failed to complete a number of mega development projects worth billions of rupees in Bahawalpur. The funds allocated for said projects were utilised for other schemes in different districts of Upper Punjab, The Express Tribune has learnt.
As the projects have been delayed, construction rate has also gone up and there are fears that billions of rupees might go to waste. The situation has also sparked anger among the people of Bahawalpur, who have criticised the PML-N government over transferring funds to projects in other cities.
Speaking to The Express Tribune, a resident of Ahmadpur East Muhammad Yahya said that a modern hospital that was built using Turkish architectural elements has turned into ruins. “The incomplete roads are in dilapidated condition while another project of constructing the Ring Road at a cost of Rs1.20 billion was also halted.”
He added, “The government announced construction of Mangwani Bridge but funds could not be released and people of Moza Mangwani were left protesting.”
He maintained that all the funds were utilised for Orange Line Metro Train project in Lahore and other such projects. “Numerous projects in Bahawalpur District are still incomplete and are costing government a fortune,” he pointed out.
Officials told The Express Tribune that Bahawalpur City’s underground water has become poisonous and there is no alternative to store rainwater. They added that a project to establish an artificial lake was also initiated but it could not materialise due to apathy and negligence of the concerned authorities.
The government also announced construction of Veterinary University in Bahawalpur but the said project could not be started due to unavailability of funds.
Meanwhile, other such projects worth millions of rupees, including Ashiana Housing Scheme, Safe City Project, construction of Cardiac Complex, Bahawalpur Museum, Sadiq Art Gallery, Bahawalpur Government Vocational Training Institute, Research Centre Bahawalnagar, District, Consumer Court, Government Girls Degree College Sama Satta, Government Post Graduate College Baghdadul Jadeed Bahawalpur etc remain incomplete till date.
The local political leadership and people made several demands to Punjab chief minister to complete development schemes but in vain. In protest against incomplete uplift projects, MNA Makhdoom Ali Hassan Gillani left PML-N.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 30th, 2018.