The Ramazan Sasta bazaars have failed to provide relief for the masses as the prices of commodities are beyond the reach of common men rather causing a huge loss to the national exchequer because of the expenditure on the arrangements in this regard like establishment of rented tents.

In addition, the officials including TMAs staff remain absent, causing inconvenience to the people who return dejected from their offices during their visit to these bazaars. The Ramazan bazaars have been established across the district each at Kasur Railway Station, Dera Shamlaat, Roshan Bheela, Mustafabad, Kot Radha Kishan, Khuddian, Pattoki and Chunian. Sources revealed that the bazaars had become a source of corruption as about Rs10 million was to be paid to the contractor for the tents. They added that tents would have cost maximum Rs1 million if purchased by the administration.

They said that about Rs2 million was paid to the contractor for rent of the tents last year, which had now been increased to Rs10 million to fill the pockets of the officers. At Kot Radha Kishan tehsil, with the connivance of the TMA Kasur, the tent contract was awarded to Malik Akhtar, a brother of TMA clerk Barkat Ali Shehzad.

“Malik Akhtar, the contractor, gave Rs100,000 million to Muhammad Rafi for establishing tents in the Ramazan bazaar. The remaining amount of Rs500,000 would be distributed to the TMA officers while the people of the areas could not take any kind of benefit from the bazaar,” alleged sources.

When the local personalities pinpointed the irregularities, the Kasur DCO during his visit did not responded and remained quiet. The people of the area appealed to Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif to take a strict action against the “bogus” contractors and also bring to book the officers  involved in the business.

The district administration had approved a tender of Rs53 million for establishment of six bazaars in Kasur Tehsil to “please one or two contractors who are in the good books of the officers”. One of the bazaars was established at Roshan Bheela, the native village of former Chief Secretary Javed Mehmood Khan. Moreover, the majority of officers remain absent from their offices in the name of their duty at Ramazan Bazaars. Citizens said that the bazaars had failed to attract the masses due to cheap quality of commodities available in these bazaars. They said there was no difference of prices of items in the bazaars as compared to the open market. They said that bazaars were only serving the political aims of the Punjab rulers instead of serving the masses.