TAXILA: People from scores of villagers in Jand gathered at the under-construction China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) road and staged a protest against the National Highway Authority (NHA) and other authorities for not constructing a service road to their areas that have been cut off from each other due to the mega project.

The villagers mostly belonging to villages of union council Trapp, including Barwala, Hadwali, Dhoke Habib, Dhoke Nikka, Ratti Dandi and Dhoke Sarfaraz, gathered near Barwala and blocked traffic.

The protesters were carrying banners and placards inscribed with their demand.

Talking to newsmen, the protesters said the villages had been cut off from each other due to the constriction of the CPEC road. They said the affected villagers had brought the issue under the notice of the local representatives as well as high-ups of the NHA and other departments but to no avail.

They said there was a need for the construction of a service route from Dhoke Sarfaraz to the Tarrap Interchange.

“We are cut off through land networks due to construction of the Hakla-D.I. Khan CPEC road,” said Kareem Nawaz.

After the route becomes operational, the villagers would not be able to go to other areas, said Ahmed Khan, another protester.

The protesters said link roads were constructed along Islamabad-Peshawar Motorway (M-1) and Islamabad-Lahore Motorway (M-2) in several areas to facilitate the local residents.

Haji Khuda Bux said the villagers had informed the local lawmaker but no action was taken yet.

The protesters dispersed after officials from a construction company assured them that their grievances would be submitted to higher authorities concerned in Islamabad.

Published in Dawn, November 3rd, 2021

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