SHANGLA: Residents of Dandai in Bisham tehsil blocked the Karakoram Highway at Dandai Bazaar on Tuesday to record their protest against the delay in construction of KKH-Muslimabad road for which tenders had already been issued three years ago.

The residents of Dandai, including PTI’s Bisham tehsil chairman Sadeedur Rehman, staged the demonstration on the KKH in Dandai and blocked the main artery for four hours.

They chanted slogans against provincial minister Shaukat Ali Yousafzai, the contractor, Shangla deputy commissioner and Bisham assistant commissioner for delay in the project.

Addressing the protesters, former district council member Gulzar Khan alleged that the contractor was deliberately delaying the project. He added that scores of development schemes of the same contractor were either incomplete or awaiting start of work on them.

Village council chairman Bashir Zada recalled the 2km road was approved on their request by Shaukat Yousafzai, but now the contractor, who was also from the ruling PTI, was making excuses and not starting work on the project.

He said people of seven villages had been facing problems due to delay in the road construction.

Sadamul Haq, a local committee member, said that despite their requests the deputy commissioner, AC and the works department failed to take any action so that work on the road project could be started. He said they wanted the contractor to start work on the road and complete the project on priority.

Meanwhile, additional deputy commissioner Azizullah Jan and assistant commissioner Jawad Asif held negotiations with the protesters and assured them that the work would be started in the next two to three days.

He, however, warned the local community and political activists to avoid creating obstacles in the uplift projects and let the contractor to complete them within the scheduled time.

Published in Dawn, October 5th, 2022

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