CHITRAL: The decision to stop fully loaded trucks from using the Lowari tunnel has driven Chitral back to the pre-tunnel days. Then everything was scarce and prohibitively expensive for Chitralis in Chitral. The only exception were wheat and petroleum who’s transportation was subsidised by the government at a heavy cost incurring loss to the public exchequer. After heavy trucks started plying into Chitral with commodities, at least some relief was felt. Now again, pushing us back to the past, prices of everything will incur an added inflation over and above what is happening in the rest of the country. Who will compensate for this added inflation of prices?
As for the inability of the tunnel and bridges to take heavy trucks, this is another and felonious issue. If the tunnel is so weak, how come the heavy machinery of hydel power stations is being transported using them? Does the tunnel floor or the bridges give special concession to super heavy steel machinery of the hydel plants, but is averse to trucks carrying cement and rebars which is the basic need for construction in Chitral. It is like the NHA authorities give special concession to privileged people cross the tunnel any time but stop the common man for hours saying tunnel is closed from 12 to 3 pm, sans rhyme or reason. As there is no logic in that, so is the present situation of disallowing trucks of commoners but allowing government and contractor’s trucks with heavy machinery.
The members of Parliament and Provincial Assembly should jointly take up the issue with the Prime Minister and raise voice in the Assemblies and Senate, otherwise they will loose goodwill of the people further. The government has already a low popularity rating and this avoidable nuisance by the NHA will erode it further. .. CN report, 02 Dec 2021