GUJRAT: The bumpy ride on the under-repair portions of main GT road between Lalamusa and Kharian have become a nightmare for residents of both the cities and adjoining rural areas for the last couple of months.

On the other hand, repair work on most parts of the national highway is being done without adopting safety measures by the contractor firm, exposing the negligence of national highway and motorway police (NH&MP) as well as the national highways authority (NHA).

According to data available with Rescue 1122 and local health authorities, at least 15 to 18 people sustain injuries daily due to motorbike accidents owing to lack of safety measures, said local social worker Arfan Ahmed Safi who has time and again raised the issue with the respective authorities through his letters [but to no avail].

He said most of the injuries occurred along the under-repair portions in the evening due to poor visibility, sudden and unexpected ramps along the road where at least some reflectors or road safety cones could have been placed to caution the motorists.

Muhammad Kamran, a local trader, who would commute between both these towns daily to deliver supplies of his wholesale business, told Dawn though he would use to go on his loader along with a driver, he often witnessed bikers lying on the road due to the sudden ramp and rough surface. He said the authorities in the local administration as well as NHA and NH&MP never bothered to adopt safety measures.

Bikers would often carry women, children and elders of their families, exposing all of them to the danger of a road mishap by traveling along the main national highway, an official of local traffic police said while talking to this correspondent. The local civil society representatives of both the towns have called upon the federal and provincial governments to take notice of the plight of motorist owing to lack of safety measures.

An official of NH&MP who patrols along the route said the motorway police would often impose fines on motorcyclists for not wearing helmet but most of the bikers did not comply with the law whereas the NHA should also direct the contractor firm to put safety gadgets during the repair work.

Published in Dawn, September 12th, 2021

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