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Govt still indifferent to Chitrali passengers' ordeal

CHITRAL, Dec 22: With the closure of the Lowari top road due to the snowfall on Saturday night, hundreds of people got stranded on both sides of the pass till the Frontier Works Organization (FWO) cleared the snow on Sunday afternoon. lowariHowever, the government has failed to facilitate them by opening the under-construction tunnel and is passing the time by temporary arrangements putting the lives of the Chitralis at risk. The local people said each passing day was adding to the miseries of the passengers. Some of the passengers told this correspondent on telephone that about 40 vehicles were stranded at the Upper Dir side of the Lowari Pass after the road was closed on Saturday night. They said they were not able to return and were stranded in their vehicles for the last ten hours. It may be noted that despite repeated demand by the people of Chitral, the federal government has not agreed to open the tunnel. The NHA had announced that the tunnel could only be opened for two days on a fortnightly basis. But the demand for the opening of the tunnel for at least three days a week was not given any consideration and the federal government last week asked the KP government to open the passageway at its own risk. On the other hand, the provincial government has also not been able to take any decision in this regard. As a result, the people of Chitral are facing hardship but the authorities concerned remain silent spectators to their agonies.  ]]>

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