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DERA GHAZI KHAN: People of Dera Ghazi Khan district are demanding early construction of dual carriageways for the Indus Highway as the busy road is often in the news for fatal accidents.

In the last week, 13 people of a family died in two accidents on the Indus Highway. In the first incident, four people of a family were killed in a head-on collision between a truck and their car in the jurisdiction of the Gaddai police on the Indus Highway. Nine others, all from a family, lost their lives when a truck crashed into their car near Grang Pul in the vicinity of Shahwali police in Rujhan, Rajanpur. The Indus Highway facilitates inter-provincial commuters and motorists.

A traffic officer told Dawn that traffic on the road had increased manifold in recent years and suggested the ratio of road accidents would come down with the construction of dual carriageway.

The road connects the country from Karachi to Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. The officer said at least 100 people, including women and children, died in road accidents on the Indus Highway from Ramaq to Shahwali in the last year.

A National Highway official told Dawn that dual carriage way would be constructed in phases and work on the design of the dual carriageway from Rajanpur to Dera Ghazi Khan was in the works. He said the 330-kilomtere long road from Ramaq to Shahwali would be dualised.

Locals demanded the deployment of motorway police and instalation of speed guns on Indus Highway to check road accidents.

National Highway Assistant Director Muhammed Saleem told Dawn the project was under public hearing for environmental and social impacts.

He said that from Dera Ismael Khan to Dera Ghazi Khan the Indus Highway would be two lanes, and from Dera Ghazi Khan to Rajanpur four lanes would be constructed on the Indus Highway.

Published in Dawn, January 1st, 2019