DROSH: In “New Pakistan”, change seems everywhere and it is evident more in Chitral.
In order to make the change visible, the ruling PTI has invented new and novel ways of dealing with public issues and facilitating the citizens.
Though the people of Chitral have benefited a lot from the changes since the PTI came to power in KP province in 2013, its impact on their life has been more prominent and visible since this party also formed a government in Islamabad in 2018.
The fruits of the “New Pakistan” and the change started reaching Chitral the day when the National Highway Authority (NHA), a department of the federal government, took over the main road linking Chitral with other parts of the country.
Though the government on papers allocates millions of rupees for the repair and maintenance of the road, its portion from Chitral town to Mirkhani has been in a shambles for years.
Commuters and local people told ChitralToday that the contractors of the NHA used substandard material on the reconstruction of the broken road and pocketed the funds in connivance with officials of the department.
As a result, the road develops potholes and ditches within days, creating problems for the commuters.
Now the department in Chitral has adopted a novel way of dealing with the issue. It has started filling the broken portions of the road with soil and gravels perhaps thinking that people of Chitral are not used to travel on pucca and paved roads or to save the public exchequer from using costly materials used in road construction elsewhere in the country and divert the funds to someone’s accounts.
The commuters said workers were seen bringing soil from the roadsides and pouring it on the ditches and potholes in many parts of the road.
But they wondered how the soil-filled ditches and potholes could withstand the rain and load of traffic, especially heavy loaded vehicles.
The people of Chitral have demanded that the federal minister for communications Murad Saeed and chairman of the NHA should take notice of the issue and order remedial measures.
They also said apart from the troubles faced by the local commuters, a large number of tourists visited Chitral in the summer and this road and all other arteries inside Chitral created a very bad impression of the government claim to facilitate tourists and promote the tourism sector.