Roads of Chitral
17 Feb, 2019
.. by Prof RK Baig
Chitral now divided into two districts has the worst road system in KPK due to lack of interest of the provincial government in the past when many political parties and allied ones ruled the province. They – those who are at the helm of affairs- are unaware of the geography of the district though during their meetings with Chitrali delegates they try to show their collection of info about Chitral but they never drive to Chitral or to its valleys to see the conditions of the road with their own eyes and get personal experience.
These roads were built in 70s and then a CADP funded program was launched to build the Chitral-Booni road which was constructed up to the standard but designed a narrow one where two vehicles cannot pass or cross easily. The one has to apply brake and take reverse motion to make room for the other. These are repaired half heartedly once in a blue moon. This is further deplorable in the valleys and the landslides or avalanches have deteriorated all the road system. In other districts where our Pathan friends live they have thousands of kilo meters of metalled road in each district, wide, of good standard and wide enough for all kind and size of vehicles whereas in Chitral the total length of black top roads is less than 300 km meter and in the newly created upper Chitral district the total length of black top road is 35 km only. What a shame: where is the INSAF? What a cruelty and exploitation of the name of Chitral!.
Imagine a district in these days to have only 35 km black top road of 3rd class full of pits and pitches, and Lo! We are claiming to promote Tourism in Chitral beside destinations in other districts. This state of affairs is unbelievable. Last week I was arguing with an official of the Tourism department about this aspect of communication who replied that roads are in the list of INFRASTRUCTURE and C& W, KP, is responsible for up gradation of this sector and this cannot be included in the list of the duties of Tourism department. It means there is no coordination between these two departments and they are ignorant of the Tourism program to be taken up for Chitral in the coming weeks. What a mi government, poor governance and what a pity!
Unless the roads in Chitral are widened and improved domestic tourism cannot reach Chitral and foreigners will also hesitate as they have to bear the expenses of transport on bad roads as well as expenses/food of two police men as their escort- one in front and the other behind him as if being marshaled to a prison instead of a tourist destination. These are the measures of the govt. officials who want to foil the vision of ‘New Pakistan’ of PTI. .. Prof Rahmat Karim Baig, 17 Feb 2019