In the wake of persistent project delays plaguing Quetta City, the recent setback in meeting the November 30th deadline for ongoing initiatives has raised concerns over governance and project management. Commissioner Quetta Division, Hamza Shafqaat, has openly acknowledged the challenges faced by the engineering teams, attributing the delay to encroachments and the intricate process of relocating essential utility services.
Why Projects Faced Such Chronic Delays?
While the efforts to address the obstacles are commendable, it is crucial to recognize that these challenges have been a long-standing issue, lingering for the past four years. The announcement of a revised completion target by December 31st indicates a commitment to overcoming hurdles, but the question arises: why have these projects faced such chronic delays in the first place?
A broader perspective reveals a concerning pattern of inefficiency in project execution, raising questions about governance and institutional efficacy in Balochistan. Notably, the failures to meet deadlines are not isolated incidents. Former Chief Secretary Balochistan, Abdul Aziz Uqaili, and former Chief Minister Balochistan, Mir Quddus Bizenjo, also struggled to meet project deadlines during their tenures, reflecting a systematic issue rather than isolated instances of mismanagement.
Growing Sentiment Of Frustration Among the Public
The consequences of these delays are not insignificant. The people of Quetta continue to grapple with under-construction roads and collapsed bridges in suburban areas, highlighting the tangible impact of prolonged project timelines on the daily lives of citizens. This has led to a growing sentiment of frustration among the public, who rightly expect timely completion of vital infrastructure projects.
Comparisons with other regions in Pakistan, where projects worth billions are completed within a few months, only intensify the concerns about the efficiency of governance in Balochistan. The stark difference in project execution timelines suggests a need for a thorough evaluation of the processes and mechanisms in place within the province.
Govt Should Move Beyond Mere Lip Service
It is imperative that the government moves beyond mere lip service and takes concrete actions to ensure the timely completion of development projects in Quetta. The people deserve better, and the province cannot afford to be left behind in terms of infrastructure development. A comprehensive review of institutional frameworks, project management practices, and accountability measures is necessary to address the root causes of these delays and establish a more effective and responsive governance system in Balochistan.