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Islamabad-Lahore Grand Trunk Road

What Sharifs do best is projection. They are known for making infrastructure where it’s not needed and later sell it to the masses for the electoral gains.

Take the case of ‘Lahore to Islamabad motorway’ instead of enlarging and broadening the less time consuming,shorter ‘Grand Trunk Road’ they preferred to make a new Billion Dollar Project, which because of this of its inefficiency to this day has failed to attract most of the traffic but still is cheered by them as one of their biggest achievements.

The wastage of money does not ends here, whatsoever mega project they made relates a tale of it.

When after long exile they regained power in Punjab their promise was to make Lahore,which already was one of the most developed city of South Asia,the Paris of it.Even if they had to do this on the expense of development budget of the neglected areas. Shahbaz Sharif the self proclaimed Sher Shah Suri and one famed by his supporters as Man of Action didn’t shy off to destruct the already built functioning roads to replace them with his signal free corridors,bridges  and flyovers.In his five year tenure as chief minister the idea of renovating and improving already built things seemed unknown to his administration. It was a race of ‘who made what?’ and he made sure that he gets complete ownership of whatsoever he does which wouldn’t have been achieved by renovating earlier projects.

Shahbaz Sharif CM of Punjab

This ‘break and make’ drive of his costed around 7 billion Dollars, 0.5 billions worth infrastructure was destructed to make this new construction,this all happened in a country where a quarter of population can’t afford basic necessities even.

While a portion of Punjab was booming the rest was craving for the Man of Action’s attention. But somehow thanks to the Zardari’s government’s incompetency they succeeded in making their ‘people who at least do some work’ look. They used lack of resources as an excuse of neglecting those who they did and promised not to repeat it if got complete control.So In hope of some improvement in the way they lived and more as a viable alternative to the supposedly corrupt Zardari’s Government the commoners entrusted upon them with power.

The poll pattern was surprising for the Sharifs even, the main challenge they faced was in the very portion they poured in money into.From a  party which promised Human Development more than the mega projects but overseeing this they continued their self styled strategy which to an extent proved to be successful so far.

Lahore Metro Bus Service

If we forget the lack of government’s funding for health and education, metro buses do were a great idea to provide less privileged right to public transport but building the costliest  rapid transit system of the world like orange line in a city which already had  a kind of public transport system like ‘Lahore metro bus’ and which will hardly accommodate as much people as it did was the biggest blunder Punjab’s avatar of Sher Shah Suri ever made.

In these three Billion Dollars entire educational system of Punjab could have been reformed,thousands of new schools,several of new educational institute could have been made and if not this at least ten Lahore like Metro buss system could have been introduced but the problem again was with the priorities.

One thing which was ignored in this entire age of Sharif’s development was the demand. Where there was demand of new infrastructure,where new roads, new airport should have been made those places were ignored and all resources were poured on the mainland which was developed already thus this shine and this rise hardly materialised in the terms of ground economics, as the better got best and bad got worse.

 

About the columnist:

Hamza Abbasi is an A’Levels student and columnist from Bahawalpur, Pakistan.

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