CHITRAL, Oct 8: The residents of Mastuj, Yarkhun and Laspur union councils have threatened to hold a ‘long march’ on the district headquarters if government fails to start work on widening and blacktopping of Booni-Mantuj Road till October 25.  

Addressing a protest meeting at Mastuj, elders of the three union councils including Amirullah Khan Yaftali, Shahzada Sikandarul Mulk, Qazi Jamalud Din and Syed Maulvi Din Shah said that delay in initiating work on the road was creating problems for people.

They alleged that the contractors were already released funds by communication and works department for widening of the road.

The contractors exhausted the funds but didn’t start work on the road, they added. The speakers said that it was a case of corruption but the provincial government was providing protection to gang of corrupt elements. The dilapidated condition of the road had not only lengthened the journey by two hours from Booni to Mastuj but also made it dangerous as many accidents had occurred on it, they added.

They said that bad condition of the road also resulted in increase in fares. “The road is an important one as connects Chitral with Gilgit-Baltistan on one side and with border area of Baroghil on the other side,” they said.

The speakers said that local administration asked them several times to delay their protest. “But this time we are determined to go to any extent to acceptance of our demand,” they added. The speakers demanded of the auditor general of Pakistan to audit the payment of bills to the contractors and bring to book the responsible engineers of the department.—Our Correspondent

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