All parties demands Lowari tunnel to be open for
two days a week
CHITRAL: The leaders of civil society including political
parties in Chitral have demanded of the government to open the
unfinished tunnel for the public transport twice a week as after
the closure of the Lowari Pass road, there is no alternative root
for the people of the district to travel to the other parts of the
In a meeting held here on Friday, the leaders Maulana Jamshed Ahmed
(JI), Qari Wazi Ahmed Azad (JUI), Muhammad Hakim advocate (PPP),
Saeed Ahmed Khan (PML-N), Muhyud Din (ANP), Hayatur Rahman (PTI),
Sajjad Ahmed Khan (village nazims forum), Habib Khan (Tajjar
Union), Mumtaz (Drivers union) expressed their deep anguish over
the cold shoulder given by the federal government to the people of
Chitral by disregarding their repeated demand regarding the tunnel.
Giving a deadline of six days to the government, they reiterated
their demand of opening the tunnel for the public transport twice a
week as presently the one day opening schedule has created
tremendous problems for the residents.
They warned that the district will face virtual lock-down from 12th
January if the demand is not accepted and complete shutter down and
wheel jam strike will be started for indefinite period for which
the civil society is united under one banner.
They regretted that the government has blatantly disregarded their
demand for the last two months regarding the opening of the tunnel
at least twice a week for the public transport and it was injustice
with the people of Chitral to wait for a week to and from Chitral.
They said that the acute shortage of food items and items of daily
consumption has already started in the district after the closure
of Lowari top road due to the snowfall last week and the situation
is drifting towards a worse position.
They said that hundreds of the passengers are those who have to
travel to Peshawar for their treatment after being referred by the
doctors and those who are going there for appearing in test and
interviews for government jobs.
The Lowari tunnel (8.5 kms long) is scheduled to be completed by
June next and due to the accelerated work on the site, the National
Highway Authority, the executing agency of the project, is denying
passage to the public transport fearing delay.