Defunct lights along Margalla Hills road posing threat to lives

The majority of the road lights along city’s tourists heart Daman-e-Koh, that draws significant number of tourists daily, are non-functional, posing serious threat to the safety of the visitors and local residents. More than half of the lights along a 9km hilly route having many dangerous sharp curves require CDA’s urgent attention for overhauling to ensure tourists’ and locals’ safety.
Imran Khatak, a visitor at bike, said the motorcyclists were more prone to accidents as automobile drivers coming from opposite side use high beams, creating more visibility problem for two wheelers due to darkness on the raod.
“I had a narrow escape in a sudden encounter with a drove of pigs that suddenly appeared from inside the jungle on last Sunday night near Tilhar village’s entrance,” said a visitor Raja Waqar who had come with his family. “I was lucky enough to control my vehicle” he added. He also urged for early restoration of the out of order lights for public safety.
A Chinese National Qing ping Qin at Monal Restaurant talking to this scribe said, he was inspired from the beauty of the area and was a frequent visitor. “Traveling at night with family on a dark road was a matter of concern which must be taken up seriously,” he remarked.
The Chief Administrator of Monal Restaurant expressing his dismay of the situation said, their business activities start during night and almost 500 tourists daily enjoy food at their facility. “The mishandling of affairs at Capital Development Authority’s part could affect the business of the areas’ picnic spots that see majority of the tours under stars in summer season,” he added.
A CDA’s official at Maintenance and Lights Department admitting his department’s failure to fix the issue said paucity of funds was a hurdle to resolve the problem once forever. He however held monkeys responsible for non-functioning of the lights and said they break the top structure of the lights where bulbs are intact. The flexible mode of the lights attracts them to play with, thus they are damaged. He also had a justified excuse for shortage of maintenance staff and vehicles to address day to day complaints.
The Chairman CDA, he said, has recently accorded approval to replace all defunct lights with new ones and it would take another 2 to 3 months, involving lengthy departmental procedure.—APP

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