Tunnel managers least bothered about safety measures, says PTI leader


CHITRAL, Feb 24: Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) leader retired Wing Commander Fardad Ali Shah has said the managers of the under-construction Lowari tunnel are least bothered about safety measures for the passengers. FARDAD“On Saturday, I was amongst those trapped inside the tunnel and the way things happened I’m convinced that the tunnel managers are least pushed about the safety of travelers, rather savour their agony. The best they do is to stop travelers using the tunnel – a case of cutting the head to cure the headache,” he added. He said about three kilometers inside, the soot of the smoke gushing trucks filled the tunnel and nothing could be seen ahead. One of the trucks without lights was being chaperoned by its conductor walking in front of the truck with a torch light. Soon the truck came to a standstill and choked the tunnel. Vehicles kept honking but nothing seemed to move. There was complete darkness in the tunnel as the few tunnel lights had also been turned off by the management and the ventilation system was also turned off. People started getting restless after waiting for two hours in the middle of the tunnel with difficulty in breathing as all the vehicles including majority trucks had their engines running. Women and children in passenger vehicles started weeping and wailing. Suddenly able bodied people were seen disembarking their vehicles and running towards the tunnel opening. He said he was further agonized to see that some of the passengers were carrying women and children on their backs. The PTI leader said the situation was aggravated as managers of the tunnel switched off lights, turned off the exhaust and didn’t remove the stuck-up truck. He said no standard operating procedure (SOP) was in place for the passage of the public vehicles on the two selected days of the week that could result in accidents. “In our country, action is only taken when a tragedy occurs and many precious lives are perished,” the PTI leader said, adding that perhaps the federal government was also waiting for such a situation in Lowari. Hamid Hussain, the director of Lowari tunnel project, when contacted, said that he had time and again asked the people of Chitral not to use the risky tunnel. He claimed that the officials of the Korean construction company SAMBU rushed to evacuate the stranded passengers. He suggested that people of Chitral should not travel through the tunnel to save themselves from such risks.]]>

1 Comment
  1. Fardad Ali Shah says

    The director of Lowari tunnel project says people should not travel through the tunnel. May we ask him what for have we made the tunnel if not travel through it. Have we made it just to pay the Koreans billions of rupees?

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