Chitral-Booni road, a story of neglect and corruption

CHITRAL, Oct 9: The Chitral-Booni Road was one of the viable projects which had been funded by the Asian Development Bank and successfully implemented by the Chitral Area Development Project (CADP) in the year 1994.

But after the introduction of the non-governmental organization (NGO) culture in Chitral, the government almost forgot its responsibilities as a welfare state and outsourced core duties such as development of road infrastructure, healthcare services to NGOs which has created a very complicated situation.

The Chitral-Booni Road construction project was executed by different companies, even a Chinese company also participated in its construction work to ensure quality of work. Unfortunately, however, the metalled portion of the road has been squeezed from 16 feet to 12 feet due to unknown reasons which not only disfigured the project but also perpetually created serious problems for motorists, especially during overtaking and traffic crossing.

Quality of the metalled portion of the road is highly durable and for the last two decades neither a single scratch has  surfaced in the whole road which itself reflects the quality of work. Had the metalled portion would be 16 feet according to the original design, it would be the best road not only in Chitral but in the whole KP province.

For the last two decades, the metalled portion has not been damaged even a single inch but in some places cracks and holes are visible due to sliding of rocks and flash floods. During the construction of the road, huge amount of explosive and dynamite were used to remove the rocks and leveling the mountainous area which developed cracks due to the explosion and these cracked mountains and rocks a often falling amid earth quake and heavy rain or snow fall and damages surface of the road.

These partial damages are still visible on the road and neither government nor any NGOs have ever bothered to fill these cracks in order to facilitate smooth flow of traffic. In down district Dir to Chitral the road is under the supervision of the NHA which takes care of the road with its faulty work in case of metalling and widening but still there is someone to look after the road which is does not exist in case of Booni to Chitral road.

During the era of Pervez Musharaf, he often visited Chitral and especially in case of Shandur Festival VIPS also accompanied him en route to the Shandur. At that time, the district administration of Chitral removed the rocks and other substance from the road to facilitate the VIP movement but after Musharaf’s departure the  annual Shandur festival not received that much importance and gradually movement of VIPs also reduced in the area which ultimately impacted minor repair of Booni to Chitral road and the remnants of floods and rocks are piled up in some places for the last many years and there is non to remove these things to facilitate down trodden and neglected citizen (tax payers) of this unfortunate area which is called Chitral.

After hectic efforts it has been investigated that there is one department named by Provincial Highway Authority which is responsible for looking after of this road but unfortunately that unknown department has no official existence in Chitral and we want to ask one question from District Administration that why responsibility of looking after of such important road has been assigned to absentee department in the district? Irony of the fate is that the people of Tehsil Matuj have no forum to register their protest about the dilapidated condition of the road for redressel.

We are hundred percent sure that neither district government nor so called Provincial Highway Authority (Absentee) department will take notice of this issue, therefore we request the energetic and visionary MPA of Tehsil Mastuj Mr. Sardar Hussain to take this issue as challenge and take serious interest in improvement and repair of this road which is regarded as life-line for the people of upper Chitral and especially Tehsil Mastuj. Improvement of the road could be made in short and long run basis, according to a ChitralToday survey. 

Short run strategy 

1. Removing of the rocks and floods remnants from the road and minor repair and filling the crakes so that smooth flow of traffic is ensured on short run basis.

2. Especially condition of the road is extremely dilapidated at the point of Sha Char, Reshun to Charun and Moroi to Chitral points, which could be improved by minor repair works. Long Run Strategy:

1. In the long run there is dire need of widening of this road in both sides to ensure flow of traffic which has been highly increased, especially after emerging of Non Customs Paid vehicles in Chitral traffic in the area increased manifold which need wide road.

Secondly, the metalled portion should be expanded from existing 12 feet to 20 feet so that over-taking and crossing of huge traffic is facilitated in the road to reduce increasing number of accidents which causes casualties in the area.

If MPA Mr. Sardar Hussain personally takes this responsibility and takes practical initiatives to improve dilapidated condition of this road it will be his valuable service for the people of Tehsil Mastuj and people will remember him in his whole life for this important service.

3 Replies to “Chitral-Booni road, a story of neglect and corruption”

  1. Dear Nasir
    You have really reported an important issue. Our political leader do have to come forward and reconstruct it.

  2. The issue is very important and concern department must take notice of it, in case of Booni to Chitral road frequent accidents take place due to the narrow metalled space of the road. Each driver wants to drive on the metalled portion during crossing and overtaking while the space is 12 feet that is too narrow to provide space for both the vehicles. If another vehicle crosses or overtakes by using the rough space it results damages to the tire and sometimes accident takes place in such an overtaking. Extending of the metalled portion up to 20 feet is very much necessary to reduce traffic accidents on the road. However, present MPA Mr. Sardar Hussain is very intelligent and a visionary leader he better understands the sensitivity of the issue for sustainable solution.

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