The N-45, which is running all the way from Nowshehra district to Chitral via Dir, is operated and maintained by the National Highway Authority (NHA). Before the Lowari tunnel project, people of Chitral were at the mercy of the weather for most part of the year. This tunnel nowadays provides us an all-weather access to the rest of the country.
Due to the strategic position of Chitral, this route has all the potentials to be the future energy corridor of the region. It can uplift the economy of Pakistan. It offers the most shortest and safest access to the rich oil and gas minerals Central Asian countries if there is stability and peace in Afghanistan because the corridor of Wakhan connects Chitral with the capital of Tajikistan.
Nowadays, the Chakdara-Chitral expressway project is the talk of the town. All mainstream opposition parties are trying to exploit this issue to gain some political mileage. The federal minister for communication Murad Saeed has categorically admitted in National Assembly in the presence of MNA Chitral that this project will be initiated in March 2021. Similarly, the chief minister of KP has also announced that work on the Chitral-Chakdara expressway will be inaugurated by Prime Minister Imran Khan.
Since ages, despite the demand of the people of Chitral, this Chitral portion of N-45 has been the most neglected route of Pakistan. There was lack of ownership and interest on the part of the NHA to provide better road facilities to the public. The people of the area and tourists were subjected to NHA’s torture for a very long period of time.
Now with no surprise, NHA has started a large scale repair work on the road starting from the TMO Chowk Jughour Chitral. After the announcement of Chakdara-Chitral expressway, there is a big question mark on the decision of the NHA to repair the road. What they will do with this large scale repair work when the expressway will be started?. Once again they will uproot this work wasting millions of rupees?
Similarly, I have some reservations over the approach and procedure of the repair work. During execution of projects there should be proper planning and working. Each locality has its own dynamics and requirements which should be met to ensure proper spending of public money without wasting it.
As a local I can tell there is a system of culverts (total six culverts for irrigation purpose) starting from Denin road to the judicial complex). Without changing and altering the faulty designs of these culverts, this repair work will not last very long and it will be deteriorated very soon as a result wastage of public money.
Similarly, the major culvert on the Danin road is almost blocked due to the debris of flash floods for the last four years. During each fall, due to the fallen leaves, these culverts are completely blocked. Due to water retention, water spills over the chamber sides as a result water get accumulate on the main road in the form of ponds.
Secondly, the repair work is unsatisfactory because they are applying and spreading the crush stones and khakka on the old main hard road. They should either starch or uproot the old top layer to ensure firm and strong base as a result it will long last.
I hope someone sitting on responsible position will take notice of my suggestions and reservations to ensure proper utilization of public money.