ATTOCK, Dec 8: Despite a fatal traffic accident in which four people were killed and nine others injured about a month back, the government has not bothered to repair the dilapidated portion of the Attock-Sanjwal Road.
Even the public representatives seemed silent spectators to the issue while the district administration, provincial highway department and the Sanjwal cantonment and POF authorities have been passing the buck to each regarding the reconstruction of the highway.
It may be noted that excessive sand mining has damaged the 500-meter portion of the Attock Sanjwal Road near Dhoke Jogian village.
During a visit to the area, the local residents told this correspondent that under the mining safety rules and regulations, the miners cannot extract sand within 100 metres of any highway.
But in case of this road, the miners, who are mostly influential people, have completely disregarded the rules and continued digging very close to the road.
On the other hand, the concerned authorities remained oblivious to the issue due to the influence of the miners.
“Before and soon after Nov 1 incident I wrote many letters to the authorities of Sanjwal Cantonment and POF for the rehabilitation of the road and its closure until and unless the repair work is completed,” said district coordination officer (DCO) Mohammad Iqbal.
The road comes under the administrative control of the above-mentioned departments and even the Sanjwal cantonment receives toll tax from commercial vehicles plying on the road, he explained.
But the executive officer Sanjwal cantonment board in his reply expressed helplessness regarding the repair of the road on the plea that it was the responsibility of POF who constructed it in 2007.
The DCO said the POF had not replied to his letter so far. He added that all the concerned quarters, including the chief minister, chief secretary and commissioner Rawalpindi, had been informed about the issue.
When the DCO was suggested that he could include the repair of the road in the district development projects after consultation with the public representatives, he did not give any reply.
It may be noted that soon after the fatal accident on November 1, the district bar president, Syed Azmat Bukhari, filed a petition with the district and sessions judge and sought the registration of a criminal case against the concerned officials, including the Sanjwal cantonment board, mines and highway departments.
The court ordered the district police to initiate legal action against the responsible and submit a report and the process is underway.
The people of the area have called upon the provincial government to take notice of the matter and direct the departments concerned to repair the road without further delay.