Snow removal from key Mansehra road begins

Published March 24, 2023
An excavator clears MNJ Road in Pladrain area of Kaghan valley on Thursday. — Dawn
An excavator clears MNJ Road in Pladrain area of Kaghan valley on Thursday. — Dawn

MANSEHRA: The National Highway Authority on Thursday began removing snow from the Mansehra-Naran-Jalkhad Road four months after blizzards hit Kaghan valley blocking the key artery.

“We have moved snow shovel and excavator machines to Kaghan valley to clear the MNJ Road, while the Pladrain area has been reopened to traffic,” NHA deputy director Javed Saifullah told reporters here.

Mr Saifullah said the exercise had been launched as the government wanted the key road’s reopening before the Eidul Fitr festival for the resumption of traffic between Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Gilgit-Baltistan.

He said snow removal from the road would resume Kaghan valley’s tourist activities, which were suspended in October last year due to heavy snowfall.

“I’m optimistic that the MNJ Road will be cleared up to Naran, the commercial centre of the valley, by the end of the current month or in the first week of April,” he said.

Mr Saifullah said the blocked MNJ Road prevented census teams from visiting Kaghan valley but the census was likely to begin after the removal of snow.

He said the reopening of the artery would facilitate the return of the people of Kaghan valley, who had migrated to lower parts of the country after the winter snowfall.

Meanwhile, president of the Kaghan Hoteliers Association Seth Matiullah and chairman Hussain Deen welcomed snow removal from the MNJ Road and said it would help promote tourism in the region during Eid days.

POWER OUTAGES: Residents of Bohraj area in Jullo union council here on Thursday demanded of the Peshawar Electric Supply Company to do away with the prolonged and unscheduled loadshedding.

Zia Ahmad, who led the people, told reporters that the Pesco suspended power supply from 9am to 4pm daily, paralysing life.

He said the residents requested the Pesco high-ups for smooth electric supply, but to no avail. “Power supply to the neighbouring Mungloor and Khaki areas isn’t suspended for such long hours. We demand of the prime minister to step in to end prolonged and unscheduled power outages,” he said.

Published in Dawn, March 24th, 2023

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