Protesters block Garam Chashma Road, Chitral. — Dawn
Protesters block Garam Chashma Road, Chitral. — Dawn

CHITRAL: Hundreds of residents of Lot Koh valley continued their sit-in for the third day in Garam Chashm on Sunday against the use of ‘substandard’ material in repair of a key road and delay in reconstruction of a collapsed suspension bridge connecting the valley with rest of the district.

Addressing the protesters, local elders, including Nusrat Elahi, Mir Dula, Khosh Mohammad and others, said the condition of Garam Chashma Road had worsened since the National Highway Authority (NHA) got its control from the communication and works department three years ago.

They said a suspension bridge connecting the valley with other parts of the district had collapsed two months ago at a time when the bumper crop of potato was being transported to the down country. They said the local farmers had restored traffic by building a makeshift bridge on self-help basis. They said NHA had yet to make a plan for construction of a permanent bridge.

The elders accused the NHA of using substandard material in the rehabilitation of Garam Chashma Road. They said condition of roads in the neighbouring Arkari and Karim Abad valleys was also bad.

They vowed to continue protesting till work on construction of the bridge and quality repair of the Garam Chashma Road was not started.

They demanded of federal minister of communications Murad Saeed to tender resignation over his failure to improve the state of roads in Chitral district.

Published in Dawn, November 15th, 2021

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