ISLAMABAD: Amid harsh cold weather and heavy snowfall in many parts of the country, the National Highway Authority (NHA) has cleared snow-affected network of highways in Balochistan.
A spokesman for the NHA on Wednesday said that after the recent severe snowfall in Balochistan, the authority took steps to ensure immediate removal of snow from the affected sections of national highways in the province.
Consequent upon the weather alert issued by the Pakistan Metrological Department regarding heavy snowfall in Balochistan, the NHA Quetta prepared a plan to ensure execution of the critical snow removal operation for the safety of commuters.
Routine maintenance contractors and workforce deployed heavy machinery such as graders, loaders and tractors for the purpose at critical locations of Khojak Pass (N-25), Mastung-Lakpass-Quetta (N-25), Kolpur (N-65), Khanozai-Kanmehterzai-Muslim Bagh (N-50), Mangocher-Kalat-Surab (N-25) and Lakpass-Kanak (N-40).
The NHA field officers remained at the sites during snowfall spells and continued to coordinate with the district administrations of Qilla Abdullah, Mastung, Pishin, Kalat, Bolan and Qila Saifullah to ensure early removal of snow from national highways and management of traffic.
“All critical sections of national highways were cleared timely by deploying heavy machinery such as graders, loaders, tractors, pickups and by sprinkling salt at the cleared sections,” the spokesman said.
Balochistan Governor Amanullah Khan Yasinzai and Chief Secretary Aurangzeb Haque, along with MPA Shahina Kakar, visited N-50 and appreciated the NHA’s efforts for clearance of main sections and issued instructions to help the district administration and the people of the area in clearance of link roads along N-50.
Two graders were therefore deployed by the NHA on provincial link roads of Kanmehterzai town.
Since the initial spell of snowfall, the NHA Quetta had been working on all national highways in Balochistan to ensure their operational activity. Snow clearing machinery was deployed from the very first day and was augmented according to the severity of the weather.
Two additional graders and one crane were arranged for the Khanozai-Kanmehterzai-Muslim Bagh section after Balochistan Chief Minister Jam Kamal Khan discussed the situation in the area in a call to NHA Chairman Sikandar Qayyum.
It may be recalled that Balochistan received record snowfall this year. Several people lost their lives in rain- and snowfall-related incidents.
Saleem Shahid in Quetta also contributed to this report
Published in Dawn, January 23rd, 2020