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    November 26, 2016



Political parties head rejects Lowari tunnel schedule

By Zahiruddin

CHITRAL; The heads of political parties and various civil society organizations have rejected the schedule of opening the unfinished Lowari tunnel for the public transport during the winter season and demanded that it should be opened on daily basis instead of 12 hours in a week.

In the all political parties meeting held here on Saturday convened by the district government chaired by district nazim Maghfirat Shah, the participants expressed their grave concern over the schedule as per which the tunnel will be opened for the public on Fridays for the public only for 12 hours.

They said that more than half a million population of Chitral will remain confined within the district as there was no land route except the tunnel to connect the district with the rest of the world as the routes leading to it received many yards snow and avalanches.

They also criticized the National Highway Authority for ignoring the elected representatives of the district including the members of national and provincial assembly and the district nazim while deciding the schedule for opening of the tunnel.

They feared acute shortage of the commodities of daily use including edibles and abnormal rise in the prices if the schedule is not replaced by a rationalized one which is two hours at dawn and dusk when the work is stopped for change of shifts.

They contended that there is no work for two hours at morning and evening times when the workers and engineers left the site at the end of their shift and the workers of the next shift proceeded.

They appealed to the prime minister to take cognizance of the pathetic condition of the people of Chitral on compassionate grounds and order for opening of the tunnel on daily basis so that they could travel to and from the district in connection with their urgent pieces of work.

The participants said that an ordinary man in Chitral travels to the other part of the country when only in unusual and unavoidable circumstances which included treatment of patients referred to the tertiary hospitals, attending courts, study in the universities and colleges, attending tests and interviews for jobs in government departments.

They stressed that opening of the tunnel on daily basis for two hours will solve the problem of the inhabitants of Chitral without impeding the pace of work even for a hour but the NHA is adamant to yield to their demand based on justice and reason.

They said that the people of all political parties and civil society will rise to protest if the schedule was not changed as per their requirement.

The meeting was attended by Said Ahmed Khan (PML-N), Maulana Jamshed Ahmed (JI), Maulana Abdul Shakoor (JUI), Shah Murad Baig (PPP), Abdul Latif (PTI), Maulana Latif Khan (ANP), Muhammad Wali Shah (APML), Ghulam Hazrat Inqilabi advocate (District bar), Haji Sharifullah (Drivers Union) and others.



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