LAHORE – Fate of the under construction road and the fly-over in front of Allama Iqbal International Airport hangs in the balance for the last more than one and a half year when a project of worth Rs 1.5 billion, started in June 2006 and was scheduled to be completed in November 2007, is yet to be completed and development work is stopped on site.
As per details, the project of the Ring Road, according to which the road was passing in front of the AIIAP called Package 6, comprises three kilometres length from (Ghazi Road intersection to Burkey Road intersection) Hajj Teminal to Sehjpal Chowk was started in June 2006 it was scheduled to be completed in November 2007, but despite passage of one and half year the project was lying unfinished causing problems for the motorists and giving ugly look to the foreigners landing at the airport, locals of the area and officials of the CAA said here on Wednesday.
A senior official of the CAA seeking anonymity said that destruction of road in front of the airport was creating problems for not only general motorists but also for the people visiting airport and coming from far-flung areas. Airport Manager Syed Amir Mehboob said that incomplete road in front of airport gave ugly look to the foreigners who landed at the airport. He said that good number of accidents had been taken place due to the under construction road.
An engineer of construction company J & K said that there were three main reasons for the stoppage of work. One reason is that the government failed in clearing of the land of a village Dehrh Pindi, which passed through the road being constructed. Second, prices of cement and iron had increased manifold and we wrote to the government brining the escalation in the rates into its notice. Third, an underpass scheduled to be constructed in the Chowk just in front of the Allama Iqbal International Airport. He said that land of the said village was not being given to them cleared and decision regarding construction of the underpass was also not being taken by the C&W and negotiation was also under process between the Punjab government and the C&W. He claimed that development work was slow and not stopped on the site and expressed hope that it would be completed within a year.
The residents of Dehrh Pindi village, which will be demolished for the construction of road, said that they would never leave their area as the government has its own state land to construct road.
Syed Akhlaq Hussain Shah, a spiritual leader of the area, said that though previous government officials have put marks on their houses to demolish them but now the Pakistan Muslim League-N leadership has ensured them that their houses would not be demolished.
He said that people of this village were already oppressed by the cruelties of a former provincial minister Alim Khan who grabbed their lands. He appealed to the government not to let their houses being demolished. An army employee, on the condition of not to be named, said that former Prime Minister Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif has assured the residents of village that they would not be disturbed. He said that land value of the area has also been gone very high and now one marla of land was being sold against Rs 12 to 13 lakhs.
One local of the area, Ijaz who claimed that he is a farmer and keeps animals, said that they would never vacate their homes and migrate to any other area. He said that so far the government has only issued notices to the residents of the area who were residing on the land possessed by central government. He said that two mosques and about four shrines fall in the way of the road scheduled to be constructed.
Source: The Nation, 24/4/2008