Karachi, August 3: Commuters on the Karakuram Highway are traveling in worst conditions, due to the ongoing expansion work undertaken by the government of Pakistan in colaboration with China. There are times when the road remains blocked for 12 hours, closed to all sorts of traffic.
The journey from Gilgit city to Aliabad (Hunza) that used to be completed in two and a half hours is, now, being covered in an average time duration of six hours, as vehicles with passengers inside wait for the engineers to clear debris of landslides triggered by blasting of rocks.
Worst sufferers of this trend are women, children and senior citizens. Even more pained are patients who commute in a very large number between Hunza-Nagar and Gilgit. It is being feared that it could even lead to loss of precious human life, in worst case scenario.
The number of vehicles on KKH have more than halved due to the higher operating costs being incurred by local transporters. A driver, talking to this scribe, said that the road condition is “gnawing tyres of the vehicle and we need to change at least one tyre during a single side trip”. Also, the cost of fuel has increaseed in the region due to severe drop in supply.
The local communities are demanding that the NATCO shall come into action and start special services for commuters between Hunza/Gojal and Nagar, with lighter vehicles.