LAHORE - You will never believe in a three-headed cow until you see a two-headed calf! If you had had a mooch round the Model Town Park on a recent day and if you had travelled in or travelled out of the palatial premises, you would have probably noticed a new drain being constructed along the Ferozepur Road – right from the Lahore IT Park (now Arfa Karim Randhawa IT Park, named after IT wizard Arfa Karim who died from cardiac arrest a few days ago) to the Model Town-Ferozepur Road wedge.
Apparently, the new venture is going to be a great project aimed at easing stress on the existing sewer system — though at a cost. The construction of a sewer takes many years from planning to completion. This project, too, would have had its own share of scheming. Many civil engineers would have toiled day and night to plan its route and many money men would have used best of their capabilities and brought to test all their manoeuvres to scavenge funds for the project. But every coin has a flip side too, and this very project is not an exception.
If one can recall, Mian Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif, upon his return, launched several big projects in the City, claiming not only to beautify it, but also to provide its dwellers some of the best civic facilities. Keeping in line with his promise, Mian Sahib started a road-widening project, which saw many digs here and there in the ancient city.
The Ferozepur Road, passing just meters from the Sharifs’ Model Town residences, was made a priority target. So, the road was not only widened, but also beautified with construction of flowered central reservations and modern-look overhead bridges, not to mention the service roads on both its sides, which then were termed ‘life-line’ arteries for the motorcyclists and cyclists.
The dust in the wake of this recently-completed and much-hyped project has not yet settled, but the younger Sharif has launched another service-to-the-people project in the shape of the new drain. It will definitely cost millions of rupees in currency notes and sweat and toiling of hundreds of labourers working on it. One should admire our Chief Minister’s endeavours. But one should also question his short-sightedness to launch a new project on the freshly-laid grave of another. What happened to the previous carefully laid-out plan to construct a service road? And, what has now caused to throw away all the costly material used in the construction of the service road and to lay a drain in its place while the same could have been done by just doing away with a chunk of the Linear Park (formerly Nawaz Sharif Park) to have this new sewer? The logic of the Chief Minister and his planners is unfathomable –at least by those who can fathom. It is a fact that civilisation travels by road, not by drain!