SIALKOT-Scores of people including women and children staged an anti-government protest in village Lorhiki here against the dilapidated state of the Bambaanwala-Ravi-Baidian (BRB) Canal banks and demanded their fencing.

They chanted anti-government slogans and strongly condemned the negligence of the officials of the irrigation and highways departments in this regard.

The protesting people said that the unpaved banks of the BRB Canal Daska were fence-less since the establishment of this main canal several decades ago. No one had ever bothered to think about fencing in the canal to halt the plunging of the vehicles into it. They said that early repairing of these badly damaged and broken canal banks and their fencing have become vital to avert any untoward incident.

The officials of Irrigation Departments still remain unable to start repairing and construction work due to some unknown reasons causing several untoward incidents, they added.

Both the banks of the BRB canal near Daska are badly damaged at various spots and are in dire need of urgent repairing, as these banks have never been repaired since the construction of this main canal in British regime before the partition of the Indo-Pak Subcontinent.

In Daska, the banks of BRB Canal Daska are dilapidated near the New Judicial Complex due to which there is a very narrow way to reach there. Thus, the lawyers and local people have been suffering great difficulties. Some local protesting people said that they had to travel on these dilapidated banks of BRB Canal Daska by keeping their lives in their hands.

The roads are very narrow and travelling had ever remained very dangerous. On federal, provincial or district governments had ever allocated even a single penny for the direly needed repairing of the banks-cum-roads along the canals. Expressing grave concern over the situation, the people burst against the decades-long negligence.

They said that due to the state of dilapidation, it takes more than one hour to travel a distance of about four kilometres from Main Canal Bridge to village Raja Ghuman on the banks of BRB canal Daska.

They said that several spots of the banks along the BRB Canal Daska were also very narrow. The travelling on these banks has already been declared dangerous but the Irrigation Department has never made any practical step to halt travelling on these narrow and dangerous banks of the canal, the perturbed people added.

They urged the Punjab Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif, Commissioner Gujranwala Division Capt (r) Muhammad Asif and Sialkot DCO Dr Asif Tufail to look into the matter in the large public interest.