LAHORE: The MM Alam Road is being meted out a step-motherly treatment by the government, as the dilapidated road – one of the most important and precious commercial places of the city having world-renowned brands – has not been reconstructed for decades.

Frequent traffic jams, standing rainwater and chaotic parking on the MM Alam Road speak of its deplorable condition, poor drainage and apathy of the authorities concerned.

The road with high land value is one of the most expensive commercial areas in the city, which has world-renowned food points and garment and shoe stores.

The MM Alam Road has not been reconstructed since 1980, with only patchwork being carried out during the last 32 years. During this period, the traders paid millions of rupees as commercial fee to the government, but the authorities concerned did not pay heed to their problems.

Talking to Daily Times, MM Alam Road Traders Association Chairman Waqar Husain said that the road covered an area of six kilometres, which was all commercial, having shops, plazas and restaurants. The cost of land in the area is around Rs 80 million per kanal, he added.

“Last time the road was constructed in 1980. Since then the commercial fee of the area has gone up 400 percent. Besides this, the government is also getting millions of rupees in the form of sales tax and excise duty from the restaurants,” he explained.

“The irony of the fact is that despite generating huge revenue from this area, the government has done nothing to improve the condition of the road,” he added.

“The traffic mess resulting due to lack of parking area and standing rain and sewage water has become a permanent feature of the road, which ultimately hits our business,” said a shop owner of the area.He said that the road was one of the most visited commercial places of the city, but was being given a step-motherly treatment by the government for unknown reasons.

The government made plans and announcements a number of times to construct the road, but it was all on paper and practically nothing was done.

During the last Ramazan, Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif visited the area and announced construction of the road with a cost of Rs 400 million, but no work has started yet.

A PML-N MPA from the area, Saeed Elahi, said that the budget for the road project had exceeded to Rs 460 million. He claimed that the work on the road would begin next month and would be completed in a two-month time.

“These are all false claims by the government. We are waiting for these two months since long. It is all just on papers,” commented chairman of the traders’ body.

Another office-bearer of the traders’ union said that the bureaucracy had always used delaying tactics and created hurdles in the release of funds. He appealed to chief minister to take notice of the issue and order construction of the road within a record period as he did in the cases of some other roads and flyovers in the city.