Road widening threatens drinking water pipeline safety in Chitral

Chitral   -  Around twelve years ago, Chitral town, home to fifty thousand people, saw the implementation of a pipeline project to provide clean drinking water sourced from a natural spring in Golain. The project’s cost totaled 440 million rupees. At that time, the road was just twelve feet wide, and the pipeline was routed along the mountain’s edge for safety.

However, the responsibility for the road’s expansion was later handed over to the National Highway Authority (NHA). They widened the road to 34 feet, inadvertently placing the pipeline in the center of the road. The NHA began the process of blacktopping the road, raising concerns among locals.

The local residents apprehensively voiced their worries. They feared that if the pipeline wasn’t relocated and properly secured before blacktopping, any leakage could damage the road surface extensively. Furthermore, repairing the pipeline would necessitate breaking the road, leading to additional costs borne by the public health engineering department.

Safeerullah, hailing from Golain valley and now a Chitral town resident due to flood threats, highlighted the pipeline’s importance. He stressed the need to prioritize pipeline relocation before embarking on road expansion. He also pointed out that the NHA contractors could work on road sections without a pipeline running through them.

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