BAHAWALPUR: The Uch-Sharif-Jalalpur Peerwala Expressway project has been hanging in the air for the last more than a decade due to paucity of funds creating inconvenience for the people of the area.
Dawn learnt that the project originally estimated to cost Rs3.20 billion was scheduled to be completed in 2011. On the recommendation of the then PPP MNA, Sardar Aamir Yar Warren, then prime minister Syed Yousaf Raza Gilani initiated this gigantic project named Musa Pak bridge along with the approach roads measuring about 30 kilometres and Uch-Sharif-Jalalpur expressway over the dried-up bridge of river Sutlej at Pattan Aimanwala. Its construction was to be completed by December 2011 but due to traditional snags and delays, it was delayed.
In 2013, the PML-N government stopped its execution by withholding its funds as a result of which the project remained in abeyance for four years. However, after the people of Uch Sharif, Jalalpur Peerawala and other adjacent areas protested, the PML-N government towards the end of its tenure decided to restore the project and Rs1.47 billion were sanctioned and the work was taken in hand.
During Shahid Khaqan Abbasi’s stint as premier, the cost of the expressway increased to Rs4.87 billion.
The prime minister decided to open the incomplete project of Uch-Jalalpur Expressway. The project remained incomplete and caused a lot of inconvenience to the travelling public. The construction of road over the Abbasia canal bridge was also lying pending.
The National Highways Authority officials express their inability to complete the project and suggest that the higher authorities should evaluate the project afresh and sanction more funds after which this could be completed. Its completion would take a few months after availability of funds, they said.
They said the issue had been taken up but the required funds were not available.
KIDNAP CASE: The Civil Lines police claim to have recovered a youngster within 24 hours of his alleged kidnapping over a dispute.
PRO Umar Saleem said Shehnaz Bibi in an open kutchery had complained to the DPO that her husband had been allegedly picked up by her opponents.
On DPO Faisal Kamran’s orders, the police swung into action and managed to recover Ghazanfar within a day but none of his kidnappers could be arrested.
Police registered a case against five suspects.
Published in Dawn, June 2nd, 2021