Hundreds of passengers stranded on Lowari pass

UPPER DIR, June 7: Hundreds of passenger and goods transport vehicles have been stranded from the past three days at Daro Khwar area of Lowari because of blockage at the unpaved part of Dir-Chitral road passing through a stream. The road was opened to traffic last month but the condition of its unpaved part at the stream, locally known as Daro Khwar, could not be improved to make it fit for use, particularly for heavy traffic. Dir-Chitral Goods Transport Association office-bearers and stranded passengers also protested on Saturday at the Daro Khwar area and warned the authorities of launching a strike if the road was not cleared. The protesting passengers and transporters chanted slogans against the National Highway Authority and urged the government to immediately restore the condition of part of the road passing through a stream. Goods Transporters Association chairman Hakeem Khan and president Mohammad Wazir said that hundreds of vehicles had been stranded, but no government official visited the area to see the situation. They said the passengers, including women and children, had been stuck for the last three days in the deserted area without food, etc. They said that one driver tried to take his mini-truck loaded with goods through the stream, but it broke down. People there tried to pull it out, but failed. There are no mechanics in this remote area of Daro Khwar to repair the mini-truck or other such vehicles. “We have suffered losses because we will not be able to take the passengers and goods,” Hakeem Khan, a driver, said. He said that NHA had millions of rupees funds for the maintenance of the road, but it could not be repaired. The road remains closed for four to six months in winter due to snowfall. A bridegroom, Jibran from Thana of Malakand Agency, was seen waiting to cross the stream along with the wedding party. “Today, I was due to bring my bride from Chitral, but there is little chances we will cross the stream anytime soon,” he said.–Dawn]]>

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