Prof. Rahmat Karim Baig
It should be noted at the beginning of the article that initial work on the survey of the Booni-Torkhow road had been started in 2007. I very well remember the opposition shown by the inhabitants of Istaru when the whole sketch was not very clear when they came out against it on the presumption that it will affect a large part of the cultivated section of that village and thus shall render the farmers landless and force them to seek asylum elsewhere.
But the road was then designed above the village and no major threat was posed to the cultivated farms and fruit trees.
The survey was carried out but the great rock was too big to be cut and leveled as desired so it is still a big hurdle and much work is yet to be done to make the road of standard level. That section is still narrow and the department concerned has to supervise the work properly to complete it within the time frame.
The lack of interest of the provincial government, during the present and the previous governments has invited wide scale condemnation, investigation and criticism. All the previous provincial governments have failed to do justice to the people of the area who are supposed to avail of the construction of the road. The benefit of the road must go to the local people immediately.
The failure of the MNAs and MPAs is also a matter of concern and criticism. It has invited the displeasure of the whole voters and the apathy of the department and the contractor is highly lamentable. The time frame was to be given priority and the delay which is now near 14 years is unpardonable.
The federal minister for communication should have taken notice of the delay before grabbing the top commendation certificate from the prime minister. A road of less than 40 km gets more than 14 years and still in the midway, half complete, is highly poor performance and cannot be a performance of commendation. The quality of the road is very poor and seems as if it was designed by some blind man, and not by a team of engineers.
Upper Chitral is now a district but has not received any facility from the provincial govt. despite high claims to promote tourism in the region which this district has wide scope and many events have been held attended by high officials but they pay least attention to the development of roads and other infrastructure in this districts.
I call upon likeminded friends who feel some pain in their hearts to get together and start a campaign for improvement of all the valley roads of this district by sitting together and designing a plan of PROTESTS during the coming summer. As roads are our first priority and the backbone of development so we have to unite and work for it.