Sunday January 16, 2022

Worker killed as power project tunnel collapses

August 11, 2020

MANSEHRA: An excavator machine operator was killed after a tunnel of 880 megawatts Suki Kanari Hydropower Project caved-in in Khanian area of Kaghan valley on Monday.

The victim was identified as Mohammad Ahsan, 25, who hailed from Muzaffarabad (Azad Jammu and Kashmir). He was working inside the tunnel but it caved-in suddenly and he was buried alive. The body was later retrieved from the rubble and dispatched to his native town. “The subcontractors are allegedly using the substandard material in construction as a result of which the tunnel caved-in, burying alive a machine operator. His body was later retrieved from the rubble,” Tahir Hussain Shah, the president of the labourers union, told reporters. The president of the labourers union said the main contractor awarded his work to sub-contractors and they were not adopting the international standards for construction of such an important project resulting in such tragedies. He said company under Labour Act 2013 and other such laws was bound to pay Rs4 million compensation money to the family of the victim but they paid only Rs1.5 million to such a victim earlier.

DILAPIDATED ROAD: The Mansehra-Naran-Jalkhad road’s highly dilapidated condition and is a big hurdle in the way of tourism promotion in the Kaghan valley. “This important artery, which links Khyber Pakhtunkhwa with Gilgit-Baltistan is in a highly dilapidated condition causing trouble to the motorists and tourists on the way to scenic Kaghan valley,” Sheheryar Khan , a tourist, told reporters on Monday. The tourists thronged to the Kaghan valley in a large number since the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government lifted the ban on tourism activities in the province. “Our family was in the quarantine and perturbed because of the emergency situation triggered by coronavirus outbreak in the country and as the government lifted the ban on tourism activities, we rushed here to the valley to enjoy its pleasant weather and scenic views,” Mohammad Nadeem, a tourist from Faisalabad said. The tourist, who is on the tour along with his entire family, said that Kaghan valley was a paradise on the earth and a massive rush was there which could increase if the road issue was addressed. “If the government is sincere to the promotion of tourism, it should rebuild at least Balakot-Naran section of the road, which is in a highly dilapidated condition,” he said. The hoteliers associations’ president Seith Matiullah and general secretary Hussan Din said that though the government reopened the tourism industry so late, even then they welcomed the move and wanted rebuilding of the road for the promotion of tourism in the valley.