SHARANA (Pajhwok): Residents and drivers say the government should resume reconstruction work on the Paktika-Paktia highway that passes through Matakhan district of southeastern Paktika province in order to resolve problems passengers face due to the road’s dilapidated condition.
Local officials say reconstruction of highways is their priority and reconstruction of the Sharana-Matakhan highway has been included in their plan.
Abdul Ghafoor, a driver on the road, told Pajhwok Afghan News that the Sharana-Matakhan road was among busiest roads of Paktika. The road connects Paktika with Paktia and Kabul.
Ghafoor said the 38-kilometer road got severally damaged with the passage of time and passengers now faced a lot of problems due to its rundown condition.
“The highway was constructed in the initial years of the previous government and many of its parts were damaged over time. Reconstruction work was started on the road three years ago, but the work came to a halt soon after the previous government fell”.
The driver said if the highway was reconstructed, it would facilitate drivers, passengers especially patients and traffic accidents would also decrease.
Mohammad Akbar, a resident of Sharana, also told Pajhwok Afghan News that commuters faced serious problems while travelling on the road due to deep potholes and cracks.
He urged the government to resume reconstruction work on the highway and ensure that it was reconstructed in a standard manner.
Local officials in Paktika say resumption of the repair work on the highway is their priority.
Public Works Director Mohammad Akbar Adil said they had completed the road repair survey and sent it to Kabul for approval. Once the survey was approved, reconstruction work would be launched, he added.
He said the highway’s reconstruction would cost nine million afghanis, which would be provided from the budget of the relevant ministry.
Last year, a technical team of the Ministry of Public Works visited Paktika province to evaluate the road’s condition and had said reconstruction of the road was being resumed.
At that time, Maulvi Abbas, head of the monitoring committee of the Ministry of Public Works and a member of the delegation, had told Pajhwok that the outcome of their evaluation was that the road had not been constructed in a standard manner.
Engineer Abdul Baqi, a member of the technical delegation, had also said the construction work was not up to standard and many affairs of the road could not be completed in the past due to insecurity and lack of resources.
According to him, 31 million afghanis had been set aside for construction of the road and it was supposed to be built in six months, but the works had to be delayed due to some problems.
It is to be noted that the road between Janikhel and Waza Khwa districts remains incomplete.