BAHAWALPUR: Divisional Commissioner Dr Ehtesham Anwar Mahar has constituted a committee to probe into the construction of a flawed turn on the Bahawalpur-Hasilpur dual carriageway, during 2014-2017 period, at a cost of Rs 4.72 billion, resulting in loss of precious human lives in several road accidents since then.

Expressing concern over the continuing loss of lives in fatal road accidents because of the flawed turn/curve at Khanda More, the commissioner told Dawn that despite being pointed out that the road engineering near Khairpur Tamewali was flawed and could prove dangerous for the motorists, the fault was neither rectified by the highways department, nor any probed was launched to fix responsibility and punish the officials concerned for putting lives of those travelling on the dual carriage way.

  .Bahawalpur: Scene of a recent car crash at a flawed turn on the Hasilpur Road. — Dawn
.Bahawalpur: Scene of a recent car crash at a flawed turn on the Hasilpur Road. — Dawn

According to the commissioner, because of the frequency of fatal accidents occurring at the sharp turn, the locals called Khanda More as “Khooni More”.

He said the flaw in the high-cost project could have immediately been removed with a little more funds and acquiring some extra land by the department concerned.

He said a four-member committee constituted to probe into the scam would be convened by Bahawalpur additional commissioner (coordination), while South Punjab additional secretary for communication and works (C&W), director development and finance and deputy director National Highway Authority (NHA) would be its members.

The committee has been directed to submit its report within a period of 15 days, not later than April 3.

Bahawalpur highway circle superintending engineer has been ordered by the commissioner to produce the relevant record before the committee.

The commissioner has tasked the committee with fixing the responsibility and giving recommendations not only regarding action against those found responsible for the road design and construction of the flawed curve at More Khanda, but also suggest measures to rectify the flaw to ensure road safety for the public.

According to Rescue 1122 officials, since the construction of the dual carriageway in 2017, several fatal road accidents have occurred at Khanda More, claiming many human lives. At least five road accidents occurred at the spot in February this year, claiming several lives, they added.

Published in Dawn, March 20th, 2023

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