CHITRAL, March 10: Though last year the government claimed to have spent millions of rupees on the reconstruction of the Mastuj-Broghil road, the residents of the Yarkhun valley from day one have alleged irregularities and corruption in the project.
It may be noted that Corps Commander Peshawar Khalid Rabbani inaugurated the repaired road at Mastuj on November 9, 2013.
Umer Rafi and other residents of Broghil had said: “We are surprised to know that Rs157 million have been spent on the reconstruction of the Broghil Road. It is a huge amount and according to regular visit, estimate, the quality of work done is not more than Rs50 million.”
They had said the road will get soon cut off and even a horse cannot cross the new jeep-able road in coming May. The road will get blocked at Kishmanja very soon and even people on foot would not be able to cross the portion of road that has been built near Kishmanja. In July onward, no jeep can cross the Vedinkhot stream, neither a bridge nor any other alternative arrangement has been made over Vedinkhot Bridge. Jeep cannot cross after Novemebr through Arquan Broghil and if this portion would have been built via Chikar village neither the driver could die nor the machine got accident. It is totally temporary road and will soon will be finished by land slides, avalanches, rock sliding and washed away by streams in the summer.
Now the residents have complained that the ramshackle wooden suspension bridge over the river in Zhupu village connecting Yarkhoon valley and Baroghil was about to collapse.
Talking to this correspondent in Chitral on Monday, former union council nazim of Yarkhoon Mohammad Wazir Khan said no special repair of the bridge had ever been carried out since its construction in 1993. The communication and works (C&W) department has always ignored the bridge.
He said that the wooden planks in the deck of the bridge had been smashed while one of the beams also stood damaged causing the bridge to tilt on one side and the structure can no more withstand the live load on it. The anchors on either side of the bridges have been slipped making them feeble to bear the high tension in the cables, he said.
Mr. Wazir said that the collapse of the bridge will make more than five thousand households stranded on Broghil side and famine like situation can arise as commodities of daily use will run out in the absence of replenishment. He said that the residents of Yarkhun had approached all the concerned quarters in the government to carry out repair of the bridge situated in a sensitive location but to no avail and they have no option other than waiting its collapse.
“The people of Yarkhun valley and Baroghil have no alternative route and they are constrained to take the risk of their lives and vehicles by crossing this bridge on a daily basis,” he said.
He said that there was no pedestrian bridge in the nearby locality due to which the local people were totally dependent on it including the school-going boys and girls who will miss their classes if it collapsed. He apprehended that the students will miss even their matriculation examination which commences from 12th of the current month if the bridge collapses while removal of serious patients to the hospitals will also be not possible.
Another resident of the area, Sardar Ali said that the rulers rise from their slumber only when a mishap. He termed the ramshackle bridge a ‘sword of Damocles’ hanging over the head of each resident of the valley who traveled to the lower district and hundreds of the students who daily crossed it. It may be noted that due to substandard construction, a bridge at Laspur river near Mastuj collapsed, killing two persons a few years back. The main bridge to Yarkhun valley near the Dizg village was not constructed for three years after its collapse in 2007 during which the people of the valley remained cut-off from the rest of the district.–Zahiruddin
For allegations of corruption in this project, read at this link: https://www.chitraltoday.net/2013/01/29/corruption-alleged-in-yarkhun-road-reconstruction/