LAHORE: Residents of Gulberg have been forced to pay contractors to complete the excavation and installation of sewerage pipes and manholes, as the labourers have abandoned their work claiming non-payment of funds from the government.

“The contractors abandoned the development work after they had finished their excavations, leaving all the dust and debris on the main road. All the shopkeepers of the area informed the authorities, but they ignored us. We were losing our income due to the poor conditions. So, we paid the contractors to complete the work ourselves,” Abdul Rasheed, the manager of a restaurant in Ghalib Market, told Daily Times.

Several businessmen from other areas of Gulberg, including MM Alam Road and Mehmood Ali Qasuri Road, echoed Rasheed’s comments. They said the delay in development was bad for business.

Environmental hazard: The ongoing excavation is also irritating residents of the area due to dust pollution, traffic jams and a hindrance in their mobility. However, most residents have said the development of a proper drainage system in the area would be a blessing, as their houses tend to flood during heavy rains.

They said the authorities should have informed them prior to beginning the construction, and should have completed the work on schedule by mid-May. “The absence of road infrastructure and the constant presence of dust affects both businesses and local residents,” said Hamza, a resident of MM Alam Road.

When contacted, a Water and Sanitation Agency (WASA) spokesman told Daily Times the ongoing sewerage installation was aimed at draining all sewers at the water treatment plant being constructed near Satto Katla. He said the work would be completed within a few more months. He said MM Alam Road had already been cleared, and the installation of new pipelines leading to the SOS Village School would be completed within a few months.

On time: He said the government had allocated Rs 350 million to install the new sewerage system, adding all funding related to the project was being supplied on time. He said anyone being hassled by the contractors should promptly contact the authorities.

Source: Daily Times