CHITRAL: The ongoing work on the Chitral Booni road has been termed as substandard and faulty by people from all walks of life in Chitral.. A civil society organization CDM team led by it’s chairman and accompanied by road building experts inspected the under construction road at various places. According to observation of the team, the retaining walls that are being constructed on the side of the road are very poor. In these walls, small stones and debris are putting in the middle of it and hide them from cement spices, but the sand used in it is very poor and all soil mixed. The second major problem is to see that the protection wall that has been built require pouring water twice daily for seven days, but here is something else and these retaining wall were destroying due to no proper curing. It was also revealed that the construction of this road was given to Umar Jan & Company, but during the work it was observed that the contract sublated to other PT contractor where ordinary laborers from Asheri to Arundo have been given this contract of work who has no experience.
The CDM team also expressed great indignation that Nespak’s resident engineer is responsible for examining the quality and quantity of the construction work, but unfortunately a consultant named Irfan seems that he never inspected the road. No one has ever seen on the road during its inspection. Now it is learned that he has retired from his service, but no other consultant has come here as his substitute. During the vising of this road, a strange thing was found that the contractor was making culvert in some places unnecessarily after ten meters in the road, but when these pipes were carefully viewed, a supporter look. came. Where the water comes that edge is down and where the water expel out, it is up.. And where the bridges of the large culvert are used in the place of big channel , a small size iron has been used, though it should have used one and a half inch wide so that the bridge will not be broken due to the weight of loaded trucks.
This scribe knew his opinion from a senior engineer, said on condition of anonymity he disclosed there were a lot of mistakes in the work. One of the major mistakes is that before putting the concrete, you have to put a small stone from one to two inches under the iron rod so that when the concrete is poured into it, the concrete goes underneath the iron rods. Besides it iron rod should to put in a distance of six to six inches and it is given water for ten days, but the contractor has used iron with a gape of 14 inches too which has started to break the rope of bridge due to lack of water. During the CDM team’s road tour, it was also observed that in some places the protection walls have just begun to break automatically as the contractor did not arranged its curing and it was cracked due to lack of water.
On this road there is a natural fountain from the mountain where the people of this area installed fifteen temporary shops and gaining livelihoods for their families. The contractor is also destroying the water of this natural fountain by building an eight -foot -high protection wall at the same place. “We have repeatedly requested the NHA officials and the contractor to build a wall of only two and a half feet high to prevent the fountain from being destroyed,” said Sharif Hussein, chairman of the Koghuzi. He said that poor people will gain their livelihood and passers -by will also benefit by drinking cold water from this natural fountains, but they dis not accept our request in this regard.
During the visit of CDM members on the road, one of the things was revealed that the contractor digging ten to 20 feet tall tunnel in the mountain to open the road, which blew it into explosion and blast. There is a calamity that causes the whole mountain to fall and the rest of the crack is very shocking. AS Chitral has been declared in Red Zone and at any time a high -level earthquake may occur or due to rain and snow can cause massive casualties to fall down the rock on passengers.
During this inspection it was also observed that after the contractor illegally demolished the mountain, millions of tons of debris and large stones/boulders putting into the river, which causes raising of river level to lead to destruction. The water began to flow at such a high level that it caused the devastation to flow up to five feet high in the rooms of houses and hotels on river bank. These stones were carried by water and stopped in the Singour, where the river Mastuj and Lutkoh meet at a junction. Due to the flood, these large stones came and stopped at the brink of the river Lutkoh and caused the flow of water to stop. This water entered inside of one megawatt power house of Wapda in the Singour and the entire power plant was destroyed by drowning underwater. Besides, the water level was so high that the water reached the outside of the power plant. Damage to the houses. Since July 22, the power plant is closed and suspended supply of electricity and the people here are also deprived of its electricity.
In this connection, CDM members also met with Deputy Commissioner of Upper Chitral Muhammad Khalid Zaman in his office and shared their grievances about substandard quality of work on Booni road. The Deputy Commissioner also expressed great disappointment over the ongoing work and assured that he would deliver their request to the NHA officials through the provincial government. it was also revealed that Umar Jan & Company had sublited contractor to so many PT contractors =. Giving the contractor to others quality of the work was very poor.
CDM members suggested that if the hurdle in road ear the Nerdit Goal, if the tunnel was made in the mountain , the water pipeline would also be saved and the passengers traveling to Booni Shandur will also be saved from felling of land sliding over them from mountain. Some time ago, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s chief secretary Nadeem Aslam Chaudhry visited Chitral, people complained that the contractor put all the debris into the river while widening the road, causing raising surface of river which damage property of people. The Chief Secretary directed local administration to initiate inquiry n this regard and he assured that because the contractor had to pay him for disposing of debris with safe and proper way if he threw it into the river. So strict action will be taken against him. But the next day, the contractor dropped the whole mountain which fell down by blasting and put millions of tonnes of debris and stones into the river, which also closed Booni road for 7 hours
CDM members as well as political and social circle of Chitral demand from high ups of federal as well as the Chief Justice of Pakistan to bound the contractor for standard quality work as the amount of 21 billion fund for Booni Shandur road, has been approved for the first time in 75 years. The fund should be protected from the microscope and embezzlement by a few corrupt officials and contractor and an honest engineer should be deployed to check the quality of work on the road on a daily basis. Who will Inspect the work and stop the non -standard and poor work and restrict the contractor to perform a standard of work so that the road can be saved from repeatedly destroying. Also, the water should be showered on the road on daily basis so that passengers and people living around the road can be saved from diseased due to severe dust. The public also demanded that, the contract of this should be awarded to another honest contractor or company if possible so that to stop the substandard and poor quality work in the construction of this road and make it standard once according to SOP and specification to facilitate the public. .. GH Farooqi, 19 Aug 2023