MASTUJ: The government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa is yet to make any progress on the construction of roads in Upper Chitral though a ruling party MPA says tender for Shandur road will be floated soon.
In the last week of June this year, people of Mastuj, Laspur and Yarkhun launched a protest sit-in demanding construction of Booni-Shandur, Mastuj-Laspur and Yarkhun roads which have been in poor conditions due to lack of maintenance for decades.
However, on July 1, MPA Wazirzada visited the protest camp in Mastuj and assured the people that tender for the construction of the Booni-Shandur road would be floated in Sept this year. On his assurance, the people of the area called off the protest sit-in.
However, so far there is no indication that any progress would be made on the project as promised by the ruling party MPA.
When ChitralToday through a text message contacted MPA Wazirzada about his promise, he replied: “[We are] working on it…The process is going on and hope to get it tender soon.”
It may be noted that under a previous plan, Chitral-Booni-Shandur road was to be constructed at a cost of Rs16 billion as an alternative road for CPEC under the Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP). The PTI federal government in the national budget 2019-20 allocated Rs1 billion for the project.
While work on the Booni-Buzund (Torkhow) road is underway though at a slow progress, a 20km portion of the Mastuj-Yarkhun road will be constructed under the Sustainable Development Goals Achievement Programne of the federal government. The district administration has been asked to prepare PC-1 of the project on a priority basis.
One of the key leaders of the people of Mastuj who participated in the protest sit-in in June this year told ChitralToday on condition of anonymity that they would soon approach the MPA and other authorities to have an update on the road constriction projects.