Bridge ready but lies idle sans link roads

Respiratory and asthmatic diseases are on the rise due to dust


March 20, 2021

OKARA:

The Syedwala Bridge that connects Okara and Nankana Sahib has been built at a very high cost but the local passers-by and residents are suffering due to the nonconstruction of three to four kilometres of road connecting to the bridge.

The road has turned into a swamp after rains and has become very difficult for the locals as they have to push cars to get to the bridge. Citizens have demanded of Punjab Chief Minister Sardar Usman Buzdar to take notice of the issue and ensure timely construction of the road. The foundation stone of the bridge was laid by three elected prime ministers ie Mian Nawaz Sharif, Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and Yousuf Raza Gilani but each time the government was changed before the project could be completed due to which this project was constantly delayed. Work on the bridge was resumed by the former Muslim League government after several people drowned in a boat accident near Syedwala Bridge. After which the phase of Okara Syedwala Bridge was completed which was named Roy Mansab Pul.

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With the completion of the Muslim League government, the work on the bridge started once again, but Okara could not build a four-kilometre link road at Syedwala. As a result, thousands of people travelling from Okara to Islamabad and other cities via Nankana are facing difficulties on daily basis. This four-kilometre road has become a hurdle for the people. Respiratory and asthmatic diseases are on the rise due to dust and in case of rain, the road looks like a swamp where dozens of vehicles get stuck every day which require the help of a crane or tractor to remove them which cost a huge amount. People on both sides of the Syedwala Bridge commute through this route to visit each other because the distance of 100 to 150 kilometres from Okara to Islamabad via Nankana saves time and fuel but people are being humiliated due to the incompleteness of this short distance road.

The local administration has made requests to the elected representatives in this regard but no hearing is taking place. Leading socio-political figure Mian Fakhar Hayat Wattoo told The Express Tribune that if the government pay a little attention, this sensitive issue could be solved but the current government does not seem serious about it. In this regard, Deputy Commissioner Amir Aqiq said the completion of this project included the construction of this road but due to the negligence of the Highways Department and the change of past governments, the project has been stalled. However, an estimate for the construction of this road is being prepared and sent to the departments concerned.

The construction of this road will be completed soon after which thousands of people passing through this road and bridge will get rid of this problem permanently. The residents of hundreds of villages including Syedwala Chouchak Nol Plot Gogira demanded Prime Minister Imran Khan and Punjab Chief Minister Sardar Usman Buzdar to took immediate notice and issue order an inquiry into the non-completion of the road and issue an order to immediately complete the road.

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