CHITRAL: People of Chitral have criticised the apathy of National Highway Authority (NHA) towards the maintenance of roads since taking over their control five months ago.
Former district council member Riaz Diwanbegi said after the formal transfer of Shandur Road (147km) and Garam Chashma Road (92km) to NHA, the communication and works department had removed its maintenance staff from the roads, thereby creating a vacuum as the NHA had yet to post its staff there.
He said during winter the roads needed special care and maintenance to keep them worthy for smooth traffic.
Mr Diwanbegi said the people of Chitral had a bad experience with the NHA which failed to maintain the Lowari-Chew Bridge (80km) Road which it had taken over five years ago.
The former councillor feared the Upper Chitral district and Lot Koh valley would be cut off from Lower Chitral during winter if the NHA did not establish its maintenance offices there and mobilise machinery on emergency basis.
A government contractor said the NHA had floated tenders for maintenance and repair works, but without first setting up a maintenance office the work would be of substandard quality.
Special assistant to chief minister on minorities’ affairs Wazirzada said he was in touch with the NHA for setting up a maintenance office in Chitral by next month.–Dawn