PESHAWAR: District Nazim Chitral Haji Maghfirat Shah on Saturday demanded of the Prime Minister to order opening of Lawari Tunnel for vehicular traffic round the clock at least during January and February, saying that people of Chitral district were facing immense problems in travelling to and from the district during winter season.
Addressing a press conference at Peshawar Press Club regarding the people stranded on both sides of Lawari Tunnel for over 24 hours, the District Nazim said that on Friday a two year old boy died due to serve cold after being stuck at Chitral side of the tunnel for over 17 hours while travelling to Peshawar.
He criticized the National Highway Authority (NHA) and other organizations for their incompetence and negligence in clearing snow from the approach roads to ensure traffic flow through the tunnel.
He said that hundreds of thousands of people travel from and to the district through the tunnel and opening it for just a single day in a week was not enough. He demanded of the government to open the tunnel round the clock for at least two months to facilitate the people of Chitral.
He informed media that NHA opened the tunnel for traffic only on Friday and yesterday hundreds of vehicles carrying passengers from the district and down country stranded on both sides of the tunnel due to heavy snowfall on the approach roads. He flayed that the concerned departments for miserably failing in clearing the now from the approach roads, which led to stranding of thousands of people at both sides of the tunnel for over 24 hours.
He added that many people were still stuck on both sides of the tunnel and the tunnel remained closed for traffic. He further demanded that the tunnel be opened for traffic immediately.
He said that every year millions of rupees were released for keeping Lawari Pass road open for traffic during winter. He deplored that the funds were not properly used for removing snow from the pass to keep it open for vehicular traffic.