By Gul Hamaad Farooqi
CHITRAL: A 46-kilometers road will be constructed at the cost of 4.6bn rupees to connect Kalash Valley with Chitral town. It is the first major project, since the independence of Pakistan, timed at increasing connectivity for the valley located adjacent to Nooristan province of Afghanistan, home to the indigenous Kalasha people.
Deputy Commissioner Lower Chitral Anwarul Haq inaugurated the construction work, along with a number of district and NHA officials. He said that the project includes construction of nine bridges, culverts, shoulders, drainage system, and blacktopping. He further added that NHA has allocated Rs 4.6 billion for this road while land compensation for the owners of land coming under this road would be paid by the provincial government.
The Deputy Commissioner said that construction of the road was a long-awaited demand of the people of the area and it would not only provide employment to 2,000 people but also boost tourism.
Locals have expressed joy over construction of the road. A resident of Ayun Valley told this scribe that in the past people would take up to 10 hours to travel the 22-km road, due to difficult terrain and absence of safe roads. He hoped that the new road will make it easier for locals and tourists to reach the valley.
The construction work is expected to complete in two years.