CHITRAL: Residents here have demanded widening of the Chitral Airport Road to accommodate the increasing volume of vehicular traffic.
The communication and works department has earmarked Rs36 million for the road’s blacktopping only.
Former district nazim Maghfirat Shah said widening of the road was inevitable as it was one of the oldest and busiest roads in the Chitral district connecting Singur, Balach, Dolomus and Seen Lasht valleys with the city.
He said the road was in ruins as the government did not release a penny for its repair and maintenance despite his repeated requests when he was district nazim.
He regretted that after a long wait, the government had released funds only for its blacktopping, which he said won’t resolve the issue of traffic congestion unless it was widened.
He said the establishment of University of Chitral and Aga Khan Higher Secondary School in Seen Lasht, district police office and technical college in Balach had further increased the traffic volume on the road.
Mr Shah said a number of fatal accidents had occurred on the road due to its narrowness. He said in majority of cases the vehicles plunged into the river while crossing or overtaking other vehicles.
Also read: Govt given deadline for construction of road
The residents feared more accidents if the road was blacktopped without widening it as the drivers would naturally speed up.
Haji Zafar of Singur village said he had been using the road for past 50 years, but its width remained the same.
When contacted, C&W executive engineer Usman Khan said widening of the road had not been included in the rehabilitation project for which tenders had been called the next week.
He said the road’s design had been approved by the department’s chief engineer.–Zahiruddin