By Fareeha Qay­oom

a conifer tree

I

had to go down to Sialkot on busi­ness a cou­ple of months ago – (May 10, 2011 to be pre­cise). I didn’t go alone. There were a bunch of us, trav­el­ing in a cou­ple of cars. I was sup­posed to travel with my boss – luck­ily or unluck­ily, depend­ing on your view point, I ran late in the morn­ing so I missed my ride. I had to travel with my QA team. Need­less to say, my boss was not amused; (I had to travel back with her and was in the dog-house on the entire way back).

 

road map of Lahore to Sialkot

Road Map of Lahore to Sialkot via GT Road — Cour­tesy of Google Maps

While the busi­ness trip was rou­tine and not espe­cially mem­o­rable – I had great fun on the way, because there was lot to see en-route, espe­cially on the way down – the GT road was a whole new world.

 

What struck me as espe­cially strange was that there were no dis­cern­able bound­aries between one city and the next. It was one giant city after town after city. When I was a kid, I remem­ber there used to hun­dreds of vil­lages between Lahore, Gujran­wala and Sialkot – now, it was one large urban sprawl. If there were no sign­posts along the way, you wouldn’t even be able to tell where one city ended and the other began…it was that dif­fi­cult.

 

The Grand Trunk Road or GT road as it’s fondly called is not like your typ­i­cal motor way. It’s bro­ken, patched up and full of pot holes in places. How­ever, it does the job some­what ade­quately. You do get to point A from B in a few hours. Though, you do feel the lack of trees along the way. Oh well, not that our Pun­jab Gov­ern­ment is going to lis­ten but what the heck, here’s my two cents worth. Some­body should plant twin rows of trees along the GT road – please. I am espe­cially dis­ap­pointed to see that there are no green patches between cities and towns – it’s all one big giant ugly, pol­luted urban sprawl between Lahore and Sialkot.

 

Not only would the trees fill your basic aes­thetic need and cover mul­ti­tude of sins and ugli­ness, they would also help keep the air emis­sions down to a min­i­mum by pass­ing traf­fic, clean the air and keep the trav­el­ers rel­a­tively cool on this hot bar­ren road…not to men­tion, pro­vide much needed pock­ets of green between hot spots of pol­lu­tion.

 

Hey, is any­one lis­ten­ing?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 




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A story of my road trip from Lahore to Sialkot and back in one day, 9.0 out of 10 based on 1 rat­ing