SHANGLA: The residents of Shahpur and Ranyal union councils have demanded of the caretaker government and department concerned to resume work on the Shahpur-Kapar Banda road which is abandoned by the contractor halfway six months ago.
They told journalists that 14 14-kilometer-long long road connecting the rest of Shangla with tourist spot Kapar Banda was approved by the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government with the former provincial minister Shaukat Yousafzai funds of Rs 880 million.
They said 90 percent widening work had been completed and some initial work on the bridge too but the rest of work, blacktopping and bridge construction could not be preceded further owing that local people’s dreams were shattered once again.
Tariq Rauf, a PHD Dr in Eco-Tourism from the area said he used the road daily and it had become more dilapidated after widening and leaving rubles on the road besides it during rains it got blocked.
He said the road was being considered to be a milestone for the district prosperity and bringing a revolution in the tourism sector as the previous government was intended to complete it before its five years tenure but the government stepped down a year before its tenure completion.
“The contractor was so lethargic and soon resignation after of the PTI led government he stopped the work on the road. We want the government resume work on the road and complete it as soon as possible which indeed would bring progress to this backward district,” Dr Tariq Rauf lamented.
Painda Gul, a driver said the contractor had left the road incomplete and took away his machines and forced them to pay daily wages to the local workers who work on the road maintenance and they pay them wages from their pocket money.
He said their vehicles developed faults on the daily basis and they spent huge amount on its repair because of the bad condition of the road.
Rafiullah, another driver said they had approached the local political leadership for talking with administration and executive engineer to resume work on the road but they said the government had stopped provision of funds for the road.
He said their old road was better than the current widened and abandoned road at least it was usable during rains not filled with mud and sliding.
Shaukat Ali Yousafzai, former provincial minister said he had made efforts and allocated funds for several major roads from tourism department and he was anticipating that the work on the Kapar Banda and Bruj Banda road would be completed in scheduled time.
He added that after their resignations the government stopped provision of funds to these major projects and now lying incomplete.
He said instead of providing more funds and initiating more projects in the district PML-N leader Amir Muqam stopped work on the PTI initiated projects during caretaker government for his vest interest of vote as he was now intended to contest elections from Shangla.
Shangla deputy commissioner, Ziaur Rehman was not available to respond on the road project work suspension, however the contractor Najeeb Khan told that he stopped the work due to non-provision of funds.