KHAR: The Inayat Kallay-Munda Road, which connects the Bajaur tribal district with rest of the country, is in bad shape, causing problems to commuters and transporters.
The 38 kilometre-long highway was constructed in 1973, some months before the government/state had awarded the agency status to Bajaur in Dec 1973, according to officials and local elders.
The highway was in good condition until 2008, but it got deteriorated in 2010. However, the authorities did not take instant steps for its rehabilitation.
The officials said the roads and highway department allocated reasonable funds rehabilitation of the road, but non-release of money delayed its reconstruction.
Almost the whole stretch of the road has been in bad shape for last five years.
The local residents said the road turned into pools of water during rain, causing hardships to transporters and commuters.
The transporters said bad condition of the highway was damaging their vehicles.
The residents and the transporters said the dilapidated condition of the artery was also causing frequent road accidents.
According to the data of the district administration, about 300 road accidents have occurred on the highway over the past five years, killing several people.
The people said reconstruction of the road had been the longstanding demand of the citizens.
Zidan Khan, a resident of Khar town, said reconstruction of the road was among the main features of the manifestos of election candidates prior to the 2018 polls.
But, according to him, all the five lawmakers, including two MNAs and three MPAs, had failed to materialise their poll promises.
He said the chief minister during his visit to the district in Nov 2019 had also announced reconstruction of the highway.
Meanwhile, PTI MPA Anwarzeb Khan told Dawn that the chief minister had allocated Rs80 million for the purpose, saying the CM had assured him of launching the reconstruction work very soon.
PRAYER LEADERS PROMISE TO FOLLOW SOPS: The religious and prayer leaders on Saturday vowed to strictly follow the preventive measures during Eid prayers to help contain spread of Covid-19 in the region.
They made the pledge during a meeting with senior officials of the district administration.
According to a statement issued from the deputy commissioner’s office, the religious leaders were called to inform them about the preventive measures to be adopted during the Eid prayers.
The statement said the officials briefed the prayer leaders about SOPs for the Eid prayers to control spread of Covid-19.
The prayer leaders assured the officials of following the SOPs in letter and spirit.
Published in Dawn, May 24th, 2020