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Chitralis warn of protest over Lowari tunnel closure

Bureau Report 2013-12-10
PESHAWAR, Dec 9: MPA from Chitral Saleem Khan on Monday warned of holding protest demonstrations in front of the Parliament House in Islamabad if the government failed to open the Lowari tunnel for traffic due to which people were facing acute shortage of food items.

Speaking at a press conference at Peshawar Press club here, Mr Saleem said that the recent snowfall had caused severe problems for the people because they were facing food shortage and rates of different daily use commodities had increased manifold. He was flanked by elders from Chitral.

`We have apprised all the relevant officials, including chief secretary, NHA chairman and secretary communications of the peoples` problems, but they have only said that the tunnel will be kept open only once a week,` said the lawmaker, adding that people were not ready to accept the decision. He said the previous government kept the tunnel open round the year.

Similarly, he said the provincial government was also not serious in solution to the problems of Chitralis, otherwise it would have taken effective steps for the purpose.

He said the people had voted both PML-N and PTI to power on the basis of their election manifestos but they failed to materialise their commitments so far.

The MPA said that PIA flights to Chitral had also been reduced and now only tow flights were operated weekly and that also depended on weather conditions.

Likewise, he said airfare had also been increased to Rs8,000 from Peshawar to Chitral and Rs7,000 from Chitral to Peshawar.