Delay in reopening of Naran-Jalkhad Road triggers concerns

By Our Correspondent
April 24, 2024
Workers of Kaghan Development Authority (KDA) rescuing a vehicle during heavy snowfall. — PPI/File

MANSEHRA: The residents of Kaghan valley, who had moved to lower parts of Hazara division after the first snowfall in November last year, couldn’t return home as the National Highways Authority has yet to clear the Mansehra-Naran-Jalkhad Road to traffic.

“We couldn’t go back to our homes to start farming and other livelihood activities as the artery, which used to reopen in early April, couldn’t be cleared to traffic as yet,” Maulana Mohammad Haroon, a resident of Battakundi area of Kaghan valley, told reporters on Tuesday.


The residents of Kaghan valley led by Maulana Haroon lashed out at the authorities for their failure to reopen the vital road despite availability of funds and equipment.“The families migrated to lower parts of the division to spend harsh winter are mostly peasants. And they are yet to return to their hamlets to cultivate peas, potatoes and other seasonal crops,” Maulana Haroon added.

Another local, Abdullah Jan, said they were mostly dependent on tourism and agriculture.Mohammad Manzoor of Battakundi said that the agriculture activities in Naran Battal, Darsari Naran, Damduma Naran, Soach Naran, Sohni Battakundi, Battakundi Madan, Donga Barawai, Sarian Jalkhad and Basil could not be started due to the closure of the road.

Meanwhile, Raja Sajid, the SHO of Naran Police Station, said that the police were extending all-out support to NHA to clear the Mansehra-Naran-Jalkhad Road as it had started cutting the Surmai glacier.“This artery, which also links KP with Gilgit-Baltistan, would take two to three weeks to reopen for traffic,” Sajid said.