Monday September 25, 2023

Jirga says Mardan-Katlang Road project being mishandled

By Our Correspondent
May 26, 2023

MARDAN: The Baizai Islahi Jirga, a social welfare body, has alleged that Mardan-Katlang Road construction project is being mishandled. Reservations were voiced during a meeting of the jirga. Noted among those present were Sahibzada Rahim Khan Bacha, Mufti HammadullahYousafzai, Inayat Khan, Taj Maluk, Khadim Shah, Gohar Bacha, Abdul Jalal Khan, Fazal Raziq Khan, Mufti Qari Ahmed Wakil, Syed Adnan Ali Shah, Mufti Gul Wali, Iqbal Muttakhel, Gul Faraz Khan, Muhammad Kamal and Hafiz Haider Ali.

The jirga discussion centered around the alleged alterations to the main highway.The speakers recalled that when the road was under the administration of the Communication and Works Department, its width was 110 feet, with intersections spanning 140 feet.

However, they added, subsequent to the handover to the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Highway Authority (PkHA), the ongoing construction work reduced the width to 84 feet for phases one and two. The drainage process is currently underway.

The speakers said of particular concern was the third phase of the road, which falls within the jurisdiction of Katlang Tehsil.In this phase, they added, the width is only 42 feet, despite the significant traffic volume within the Katlang Tehsil limits.

The participants of the jirga said as the urban area commences from this point and the road serves as a crucial access route to the Swat Motorway.They said the Katlang main road acts as a gateway to various areas, connecting Buner, Malakand, Sakhakot, Dargai, Lundkhwar, Takhtbhai, and Rustam, allowing smooth travel towards respective destinations.

The speakers believed that the PkHA had failed to address these concerns as Section 4 had not been enforced and the road width not been taken into consideration. They said while drainage work continues, other critical matters remain neglected.The jirga announced protest and a halt to the work if phase three of the project was not expanded to match the width of 84 feet.