The remote and inaccessible valley of Chitral got a road today after 68 years. At a hugely attended function at Domel arranged to inaugurate work on the road, it was a day of celebration for the inhabitants of Domel and Arandu valley that thronged in large numbers to attend the function, many of them walking across difficult terrain and many miles to reach the function site at Domel. The road is to be built with the funding of the Federal Republic of Germany through the PATRIP foundation.
The road which is 13.5 km long would be built in eighteen month and would cost about Rs 109 million. It would connect 14 villages of the valley. The GOC 17 Division Major General Bokhari specially flew up from Peshawar to attend the function and join the DC Chitral, MNA Chitral Shahzada Iftikharuddin and CEO SRSP Masood Ul Mulk to inaugurate the road.
Speaking on the occasion General Bokhari paid rich tributes to the staff of SRSP for working in difficult and harsh environment across FATA and KP. He said that the organization had won credibility with international and national agencies for responding to people’s needs and delivering with integrity and efficiency. He said that it had developed a strong knowledge base of working in such environments. The MNA Chitral and DC Chitral lauded the work of SRSP in Chitral. Haji Rozi Khan, a senior citizen of the valley, speaking on behalf of its inhabitants said that living conditions in the valley were miserable in the valley in the absence of the road and because of its absence the health and educational facilities non-existent. The road would connect the valley to the main Chitral Arandu road now being built by the Army in collaboration with UAE government funding.
The Arandu Tehsil headquarters is connected to the provinces of Kunar and Nuristanin Afghanistan by a bridge. This route was used by the Chitralis to travel to Peshawar in the days before Lowari tunnel was constructed. Many Afghans in peaceful days still use health and educational facilities in Chitral and Drosh travelling across the region. Mr Rozi Khan said that the road will not only improve living standards and security in the area, but in the long run when peace returns to the region become a focal point for regional trade and communication.
The function was originally to be held a day earlier but had to be postponed for a day due to uncertain weather and as a result a provincial minister and Commissioner Malakand had to return to attend another engagement. The project manager of PATRIP, Khadimullah also spoke on the occasion and highlighted the technical features of the project and said that the road will be built as per international standards and no compromise will be made on its quality and timely completion. The DPM of SRSP Tariq Ahmed was also present on the occasion.