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Wheel Jam strike threatened if tunnel opening delayed

CHITRAL --An extra ordinary meeting of the Lowari Tunnel Committee was held in Chitral with Moulana Sher Aziz in the chair. Heads of Political parties, Traders and Transport Associations, Teachers and Clerks Unions, journalists and senior citizens, attended the meeting. Speakers castigated the concerned authorities for not opening the Lowari Tunnel for traffic despite no work going on inside. A unanimous resolution was passed at the end of the meeting according to which complete wheel Jam strike in whole of Chitral would be launched if the Lowari tunnel was not opened for round the clock traffic by 28 Dec.

It was also demanded to sort out financial matters with concerned contractors to resume the remaining finishing work on the tunnel, provided it does not hamper usage of the tunnel in winters, which is the primary purpose of the tunnel for which the tunnel is OK even now, speakers said. --CN report, 18 Dec 2010


Comment 1

I would like to appreciate efforts of Tunnel committee to get it opened for regular traffic. As far as demanding money for Sambu or NHA is concerned I think this is a matter between Govt and contractors and we should not become agents of Sambu or NHA.  Surprisingly the whole summers work was going on in the small tunnel whereas the big tunnel was ignored for God knows why?. Had work been carried out in the main tunnel in summers, it would have been finished by now. What made the NHA ignore the actual tunnel all summers (when they had funds) and instead get busy with the supplementary tunnel?. Now at this crucial time when the Lowari is about to close and people desperate, they want to use the people so that they get their billions.  I think a poor man's tunnel is already in place and it can be conveniently used for two way traffic as has already been tasted and witnessed by young and old in Chitral by now.  Rest of the job is cosmetics and can be carried out  when funds are made available.  I therefore request the tunnel committee not to mix the two issues which are very different. Their one point agenda should be to open the tunnel for 24 hrs traffic with immediate effect and the traveling problem of Chitralis would stand solved without spending a dime. --Arshad Ali, Chitral 19 Dec 2010..


Comment 2

A traveler through the tunnel yesterday called me on telephone and said the condition of the tunnel floor is pathetic due to negligence of the responsible authorities. There are ditches and water pools  inside which makes the vehicle travel at snail speed taking 30 minutes to cross an 8 km tunnel. This is a very minor maintenance work needing to be accomplished.  I request the LowariTunnel Committee to launch a self help campaign by raising funds through mosque and public announcements to fill the ditches and water puddles with pebbles and crushed debris which are available right at the mouth of the tunnel. There is no rocket science in this. Trader and Driver Unions can cooperate in raising donations and providing dumpers for the purpose. This task can be accomplished in maximum three days after which the travelling time will reduce from 30 minutes to 10 minutes. Self help is the only way out to better utilise the Lowari tunnel. Dependence on NHA will only bring disappointment. Thank you. Please also read   Villagers tunnel through mountain.--Faridul Haq, Chitral, 21 Dec 2010



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