Archive for Sagian Bridge
By Ali Usman
LAHORE: Residents of areas adjoining the Sagian Bridge over the River Ravi have said that while they appreciate efforts by the Tourism Development Corporation Pakistan (TDCP) to provide Lahoris with entertainment, they long for the days when the river was filled with water.
The TDCP organised a jeep rally, the Lahore Rally Cross 2008, on the dry riverbed of the Ravi two weeks ago so Lahoris could enjoy the first jeep rally in their city. However, the stark contrast of a dry riverbed being used as a racing track has stirred feelings of longing in people living in localities alongside the Ravi. Talking to Daily Times, they said that it was good that the government was attempting to make use of the land occupied by the river. However, they regretted that the river had become so dry that it could only be used as a racing track.
40 years: Muhammad Rafique, a boater aged about 70, was born and raised in the area. He said that he still remembered the days when he used to row a boat across the river. “The river used to look beautiful back then. However, it’s been 40 years since I last saw water in the river when it wasn’t flood season. It was nice to see jeeps being driven on the riverbed, but it is unfortunate that the once mighty river has been reduced to a racing track. What was once a source of water now looks like a desert,” he said. He hoped that the government would formulate more ways to utilise the river land, saying that it now contained more sewerage water than river water. Muhamad Khalil, 69, works for a contractor who uses sand from the riverbed at various construction sites. He said that he remembered how the river used to flow during Ayub’s regime, adding that after that it had started to flow only during the flood season. He said that the river used to help reduce the heat in the area and was a source of great comfort for the city’s residents.
Khalil said that while he thought the jeep rally had been a great utility for the river, a dry river could never compare to a flowing one. “I am not very educated and don’t know much about complicated things. All I know is that the flowing river provided many utilities, while the dry river only provides sand that can be sold to contractors,” he added.
Ignorance is bliss: However, the youth, who have never seen the river flowing at full capacity, do not seem to notice the contrast. Inamullah, a student, said that he had been very excited by the jeep rally. He said that he hoped that such rallies would continue in future, adding that they were great sources of entertainment.