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Ruins of NHA and construction company

Adil Ahmad

Infrastructure is the main prerequisite for the development of a country. Developed countries have good infrastructures that facilitate the transport of goods from one place to another within the country.  The road is the backbone for a place to be developed; goods can easily be supplied to the local markets through roads. Tourists always travel to such places which have good infrastructures and good scenery of nature.

In Pakistan, our government only talks about the promotion of the tourism industry but doesn’t do any practical work for the promotion of it. The government doesn’t provide any facilities to tourists. Before traveling to a place tourists ask about the roads, if they find the roads are good to travel, they move towards that place. Tourism helps in the development of places and tourism makes the economic conditions of people better.

Chitral is one of the backward districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Its people are already facing the problem of climate change. Floods have already destroyed the infrastructure of many places. 

The previous year, NHA had started work on the widening and improvement Chitral-Shandur road. In this regard, NHA had made a contract with a private construction company for the widening and pavement of Chitral-Shandur road. This company started work on widening of the road, and their machines were seen working everywhere from Chitral town to Mastuj. was said that till April 2023, work on the road would be completed.

Every Chitrali was hoping to travel on the wide and paved road that also connects Lower and Upper Chitral. That’s why they were bearing the hardships and difficulties due to the ongoing construction work. Bu they couldn’t complete the work and instead stopped it midway. The private construction company also removed the asphalt from the Chitral-Booni portion of the road laid over two decades ago.

When the road was paved with asphalt, it took two hours to reach the Chitral town from Booni, but after the removal of the asphalt it now takes four hours to reach the town from Booni. If a patient needs a medical emergency and has to be shifted from Booni to DHQ Hospital Chitral, can it be possible even within three hours? No, they can’t because the construction company has destroyed the paved road; and now it takes four hours to reach Chitral.

Chitral-Shandur road has been converted into ruins by NHA and the private construction company. Taxi drivers are fulfilling their requirements by driving their cars on the road. They were already fulfilling their requirements with difficulty because of inflation. Now, different parts of their cars are getting damaged while driving on that road. They spend money on repairing their cars every day, which they earn by driving taxis. Who can support their family financially? The construction company or NHA?

There, you find little digs everywhere on the road, instead of paved road. When rain will fall, the rainwater will accumulate in these potholes digs and get frozen, then this road would be a dangerous place to travel in the winter. 

NHA should focus on the issue and resume the work again on Chitral-Shandur road. I think, NHA believes in this sentence: “Roads are made to travel, not for the destination,” that’s why NHA doesn’t resume work on Chitral-Shandur road.

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