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Damaged highway inconveniences motorists

Updated September 08, 2013

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MURREE, Sept 7: The Murree-Kohala Road presents a dilapidated picture allegedly due to the negligence of authorities concerned, causing traffic jams and inconvenience to motorists.

The road is full of ditches from Lower Topa to Kohala, and the rains have further widened these ditches. Furthermore, scattered construction material along the footpaths, and lack of parking space in markets located on the road have also hindered the smooth flow of traffic.However, the authorities concerned have not paid heed to the repair of the Murree-Kohala Road, even though it is the busiest highway leading to Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK).

Local residents of Sehr Bagla, Aliot, Phagwari and Lower Dewal demanded of the concerned authorities to ensure renovation of the road prior to the snowfall season.

Shafiq Abbasi, a resident of Phagwari, said, “During the winters, the snowfall makes driving impossible and the miserable condition of the road added to the miseries of motorists.”

He said the scattered construction material along the road was also causing hindrance to transporters.

Similarly, another daily routine commuter, while commenting on the road’s condition, said he faced severe difficulties traveling on the road. He added that due to the damaged road, traffic flow had been paralysed especially in markets located on the main road.

Rafiq Mahmood, a notable of the area, said the authorities concerned from the provincial government were not willing to improve the condition of the road.

He criticised the provincial authorities for negligence and said, “I have lodged complaints with the authorities several times but in vain.”

It is pertinent to mention that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, in 2011 during his private family tour to a local picnic spot, had expressed concern over the apathy of the concerned departments and had directed the chief minister (CM) to take swift measures to overcome the problems.

He said CM Punjab Shahbaz Sharif had sanctioned Rs50 million for the renovation of the said road, but the contractor had backed out without finishing even 20 per cent of the contract.

“Now, two years on, no progress has been made,” he said. Despite repeated attempts, the authorities concerned could not be contacted for comments on the issue.