Residents of Shehbaz’s constituency frustrated over lack of basic facilities


—Former Punjab CM fails to deliver clean drinking water facility in his constituency

—Water-borne diseases making lives of residents miserable

LAHORE: Former Punjab chief minister and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) President Shehbaz Sharif has often made tall claims of completing several development projects in the province, but on the other hand, the people of his own constituency PP-155 are unhappy and frustrated due to the lack of basic amenities of life.

During a visit of the former chief minister’s (CM) constituency PP-155, which has now become PP-165 after the new delimitation of Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP), it was observed that the constituency had been skipped in most development projects.

During the General Elections 2013, the constituency mostly consisted of rural or peri-urban areas of Lahore, including Kahna, Karbath, Lidhar, Harpalke, Noorpur, Ghowind, Haloke, Jedhu, Gajju Matta, Kacha, and Ladheke. However, according to the new delimitation, most of these areas were now a part of the PP-165 constituency.

“We were happy when Shehbaz Sharif announced to contest the election from this constituency in 2013, thinking that he would resolve all unresolved issues of the area. But he greatly disappointed us. We even approached member of National Assembly (MNA) Rana Mubashar from our area to help us resolve our problems, but he also failed to deliver and only made false promises,” said Amjad Ali, a local shopkeeper of Harpalke.

He continued by saying that the major issue of the area was the provision of clean drinking, which Shehbaz Sharif failed to resolve in his five-year tenure. “Half of the residents of the former Punjab CM’s constituency have fallen prey to different diseases. In fact, the situation is so bad that every single house in the vicinity houses at least one patient suffering from a water-borne disease,” he added.

Another issue that was witnessed in almost half of the constituency was the problem of open manholes, choked up gutters and garbage heaps found scattered across different areas of the constituency. Moreover, no proper solid waste management facility could be seen in the constituency. Due to the lack of an effective sewage system in most of the areas, the sewage water could be seen flowing on most roads and streets.

Shair Muhammad, a local farmer and resident of Gajju Matta, told Pakistan Today that the situation of sanitation become worse during the rainy (monsoon) season. “A large number of places are converted into pools during the rainy season, which results in overflowing gutters and leads to the spread of diseases on a large scale,” Muhammad said.

Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) candidate from the constituency Muhammad Yousaf Meo said that there were several villages in Shehbaz’s constituency where no one could even think about going for a walk due to the pathetic condition of pavements. Talking to Pakistan Today, he said, the people of the constituency are angry with Shehbaz Sharif because he could not deliver any development projects in his home constituency while running the affairs of the province since the last 10 years.

“Thousands of people in the constituency had applied for gas pipeline connections, but despite the passage of five years, Shehbaz Sharif could not help them to secure new connections,” Yousuf said, while adding that a man who could not resolve problems of the residents of his own constituency was incapable of resolving the issues faced by the entire nation.

Besides Yousuf, many other local representatives, while expressing their helplessness, said that they could not resolve the problems of the area in the absence of required funds. “We had protested several times in this connection but the former CM did not pay heed to our woes,” vice chairman of the Union Council said.