ARKARI: The only bridge over a river at Roji that links the Arkari valley with other parts of Lower Chitral has broken at the centre and may collapse any time. As a result, direct vehicular link with the remote valley has already been suspended.
Vehicles commuting to and from the area stop at either side of the bridge and commuters have to change transport by crossing the broken bridge on foot. This has created lots of problems for the local residents.
Arkari valley, with a population of over 10,000, is almost cut off from other parts of Chitral as there is no other bridge to cross the river.
In 2015, a chairlift located near Andhati Roji was also washed away in the river flooding and that was never reinstalled.
Area residents told ChitralToday that after the condition of the bridge deteriorated due to lack of repair the locals were not only facing transport hardship but the supply of essential food items to the valley has also been interrupter.
They said MPA Wazirzada and the deputy commissioner of lower Chitral should take immediate notice of the issue and get funds allocated to reconstruct the bridge before it collapses.
It may be mentioned that a large number of bridges over rivers and streams across Chitral have either been washed away, damaged in flash floods or broken due to lack of repair and maintenance.
Many lives were also lost when bridges in Upper Chitral collapsed especially after the 2015 floods.
A few months ago, the C&W department estimated that Rs32 million would be required to repair and reconstruct bridges in Upper Chitral.
Whenever the area residents take up issues related o the broken bridges, the authorities concerned get some of theme repaired temporarily through these bridges require total reconstruction.
But the reconstruction process needs funds which the government is not ready to allocate. As a result, reconstruction of 10 major bridges across Chitral that were damaged in floods could not be completed so far.