The lack of funds has left work at the almost complete model cattle market in Chichawatni stagnant for the last three years. The delay in completion of the mega project has created difficulties in the sale and purchase of animals.
A visit to the site by Express News revealed that construction work on the scheme started in the middle of 2016 at an estimated cost of Rs290.3 million.
However, due to the scarcity of funds, work ground to a complete halt. Reportedly, neither the previous not the present government took an interest in completing it. The model cattle market was supposed to be handed over to the administration of Cattle Management Market Company Sahiwal for its upkeep and operation.
The cattle market is being constructed on 20 acres of land and had the capacity to keep 4,000 animals. As many as 19 big shades have been especially constructed on seven acres for the animals.
The area also houses space for offices, banks, mosques, a veterinary hospital, dispensary, restaurants, pools and shops.
Besides, loading and unloading points of animals have also been built in the model market.
In addition, vast parking spaces and roads have been constructed to facilitate visitors and buyers. At present, 90% work on the mega project has been completed, but the remaining 10% has been left stagnant for the past three years.
When contacted, Building Department XEN Zulfiqar Ahmed told Express News that an additional fund of more than RS52 million is required to complete the construction of the model cattle market.”
He added that once completed, it will be opened immediately for operations.
A Cattle Management Market Company official, requesting anonymity, said modern facilities will be provided to animal sellers. He revealed that the Sahiwal deputy commissioner had issued instructions to officials to submit an inspection report on the progress of the cattle market. However, it failed to provide the same.
Meanwhile, cattle owners appealed to Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar to take notice of the delay and issue orders for the timely completion of cattle market.