Roads still blocked, snow cripples life across Chitral

CHITRAL: Hundreds of people travelling to Chitral from different parts of the country remained stranded on Dir side of the Lowari tunnel due to blockade of the main road after the heavy snowfall.

Snow being removed from road in Drosh.

Some of the passengers told ChitralToday correspondent that they were at the mercy of hotel owners and unable to either move ahead towards Chitral or go back. They said there was no check on the hoteliers from overcharging the passengers.

The DC office on Tuesday night said: “There was an avalanche between both of the Lowari tunnels. As a result , a convoy of vehicles moving from Upper Dir to Chitral were held up within the larger tunnel. The people in the convoy are being adjusted by admin, levies, police and NHA in hotels , local homes and control room of NHA. Relief goods and food are being sent to the people from Upper Dir.

“Vehicles moving from Chitral to Dir will be stopped before Ashrait. So please don’t move towards the approach road of Lowari until we give the all clear.”

Though the district administration of Lower Chitral said efforts were underway to remove snow from roads, the approach road to Lowari tunnel and all sub-valleys of Chitral could not be reopened on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, very low attendance was observed in all government offices in Chitral town as most of the employees could not return from their native areas after the weekend due to blockades of roads.

As the harsh weather conditions continued, power outages added to the miseries of the people of Chitral town and other areas.

In Upper Chitral, the main roads connecting them to Chitral town were blocked while there was shortage of essential commodities and firewood. In many villages, power supply also remained suspended as local hydro power stations stopped functioning due to freezing of water.

People severely criticized the government and their elected representatives for remaining oblivious to their suffering in the wake of the unprecedented snowfall.

They said the government should direct the NHA and other departments to mobilize their machinery and staff to remove snow from the Lowari tunnel road and also ensure uninterrupted power supply to the town and other areas.–Muhkam Uddin Ayuni

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