MASTUJ: Waiting for its reconstruction under different mega projects for years, people of Mastuj, Laspur and Yarkhun valleys have demanded that the road between Booni and Mastuj should be widened and blacktopped under special allocations without any delay.
Talking to ChitralToday, local residents said besides tourists the road catered to thousands of people in the sub-valleys of Laspur, Yarkhun, Broghil and Mastuj and due to its poor condition the commuters were facing immense problems.
A large number of people lost their lives and limbs in accidents on this about 50 km dirt track that in the past passed on the left side of the river Yarkhun covering villages down Mastuj town such as Sarghuz, Nisur, Tow mountain, Sonoghur, Meragram No 1 and Awi villages to Booni.
The road was later diverted to the right bank of the river from Booni and with the construction of a small bridge over the river in the north of upper Parwak it joined the old road in the south of Nisur village and then reached Mastuj town via Sarghuz.
But during the military rule of Pervez Musharraf, an RCC bridge was constructed in front of Mastuj and the road was shifted to Krui Deri-Parwak side permanently.
After departure of Gen Musharraf, not only the bridge was left incomplete but also the road was never repaired and reconstructed.
According to Chitral’s prominent figure and prolific writer Dr Inayatullah Faizi, the construction of Booni-Mastuj road is neither included in any Public Sector Development Progamme (PSDP) nor CPEC. He said the Gupis-Mastuj portion of Chitral-Shandur-Gilgit road was to be reconstructed but the project was yet to be approved by the Executive Committee of National Economic Council (ECNEC).
Though repeatedly claimed by elected representatives and even a former chief minister of KP, Chitral-Gilgit road was not yet approved as an alternative road of CPEC.
Only the reconstruction and widening of Booni-Buzund, Chitral-Bumburate and Garam Chashma roads have been approved, Dr Faizi told ChitralToday. The government recently released Rs60 million for the Booni-Buzund road after which work on the project was stated on Mach 21.
Former district education officer and social worker Sher Wali Khan Aseer, Supreme Court lawyer Samsaam Ali Khan and others from Yarkhun expressed concerns over non-repair of the road for over a decade.
They said the area people would launch a campaign to press the government for the widening and blacktopping of the Booni-Mastuj road very soon.