NAROWAL: Roads damaged by stagnant water and sewage have caused 17 vehicles to overturn in a year, injuring 70 passengers.

The Zafarwal-Sialkot link road in Narowal district has been in a dilapidated condition for five years with a number of uneven patches. The damaged road has caused many accidents while drivers attempted to avoid the patches.

The distance between Zafarwal and Sialkot is 45 kilometres and passenger buses and private vehicles cover this distance in over two hours due to the poor condition of the road. The Zafarwal THQ hospital is also situated on this road, which looks like a stream for the last two years due to accumulation of two-foot-deep sewage.

The Zafarwal district administration has not installed a proper sewerage system for Naee Abadi, Nangle Sudkan, the THQ hospital and adjacent areas. Sewage from these areas accumulated on the Zafarwal-Sialkot road, damaging at least a kilometre-long patch.

In the last one year, 17 passenger and private vehicles turned over whereas dozens of vehicles got stuck in the ditches.

Residents of Naee Abadi, Muhammad Kabeer and Abdul Rahman, said, “We have filed several applications with the Zafarwal district administration and the Narowal deputy commissioner demanding the sewage be pumped out and a sewerage system constructed, but in vain.”

They further said that the damaged portions of the road had caused many accidents and a number of women, children and the elderly had fallen off from motorcycles and got injured. “The inefficient district administration is waiting for a major accident.”

Zafarwal Assistant Commissioner Mian Nazeer Ahmad said, “The population of Zafarwal has increased whereas the infrastructure is old. We are improving the sewerage system. I visited the spot and saw myself what is going on. We are trying to repair the sewerage system as early as possible.”

The residents of Naee Abadi, Nangle Sudkan demanded Chief Minister Sardar Usman Buzdar take immediate notice of the situation.

Published in Dawn, November 30th, 2019