Trapped passengers reach Chitral after two days

DROSH, Feb 10: We waited for over 10 hours near Dir and then in the southern portal of the Lowari tunnel on Sunday, said a passenger after arriving here on Monday. lowariPassengers coming to Chitral from different parts of the country had to suffer another day of trouble and humiliation in the Dir side of the under-construction Lowari tunnel on Sunday. The tunnel is opened to traffic for six hours on every Saturday and Sunday. When hundreds of vehicles reached near Dir on Sunday to cross the tunnel at 3pm, they found a loaded truck overturned in the middle of the road. As there was no arrangement to remove the truck, the passengers remained stuck there for several hours. Women, children and elderly people were seen shivering under the open sky amid knee-deep snow with sub-zero temperature. After several hours, when the truck was removed, the passengers rushed towards the tunnel. However, another shock was waiting for them there. As the passengers had reached there after the closing timings, the Korean company and the NHA staff informed them that they cannot be allowed to cross the tunnel as after blasting the debris were being removed from inside the tunnel. As a result, the passengers had to wait for another long duration till night. At last, the passengers who had departed from Peshawar and Rawalpindi/Islamabad for Chitral on Saturday night reached Drosh on Monday morning. Talking to ChitralToday here, some of the passengers said the administration in the Dir side had demonstrated the height of incompetency and callousness. They said that the NHA and the local administration should put in place a system to clear any type of hurdle from the road on an emergency basis. They said due to the absence of a waiting area in the Dir side the passengers, especially women, had to suffer trouble and humiliation. How can a family with women and children even think of travelling on this road and keep on waiting under the knee-deep snow without any facility of a waiting area and a bathroom, said one of the passengers.–Jahan Zeb]]>

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