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ISLAMABAD: National Highways Authority (NHA) is taking effective measures to maintain traffic flow on its network, as several roads were blocked in the face of heavy rains and floods in the current monsoon season.

A team of experts is examining the damage caused to the highways of Sindh and Balochistan due to floods, and in the light of their consultation, a comprehensive plan will be chalked out for the complete rehabilitation of the roads, said the NHA spokesperson.

According to the official, Mansehra-Naran-Jalkhad road has been blocked due to the fall of large rocks. Three excavators were deployed at the site to reopen the road.

Further, in Balochistan, the Hub-Uthal section was opened for traffic and the steps are underway to open remaining sections up to Bela for traffic. Karakoram Highway (KKH) was closed for all traffic due to mud flow near Dasu.

The traffic has now been restored, said the official, adding that landslides at Wango Hills in Balochistan are being controlled by two excavators, two tractors and two tractor-trolleys.

IftikharSajid, general manager (Punjab-South) NHA, Multan informed that the cut on Indus Highway near Taunsa due to flood has been filled and the road has been opened to traffic.

Federal Minister for Communications and Postal Services Asad Mahmood has directed the NHA for taking immediate practical steps to continue the traffic on its network so that the people may have the facility of transportation.

On instructions of Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and Federal Minister Asad Mahmood, Federal Secretary Communications/Chairman NHA Captain (retired) Muhammad Khurram Agha visited the site of Hub Bridge on Karachi-Quetta National Highway (N-25).

Due to heavy rain and flood on July 25, two spans of Hub Bridge were collapsed, while this bridge was closed to traffic on July 22 due to erosion in the pillars and traffic was diverted to the Hub Bypass.

The Hub Bridge was constructed by the Communication and Works Department in 1962. The Hub Bridge had 24 spans and each span was 25 meters. The width of the bridge was 8.50 meters and was not capable of bearing the load of heavy traffic of the present days. Moreover, during the recent heavy monsoon rains, the condition of the bridge deteriorated further and it could have caused an untoward incident like the Sher Shah Bridge. So the bridge was closed with the support of the district administration and the traffic movement was suspended.

In view of the current condition of the remaining spans of the Hub Bridge, the Federal Minister of Communications and Postal Service has directed the construction of a new Hub bridge, as a result of which the NHA Executive Board has also formally approved the construction of the new bridge on Wednesday. He also directed to fill all the cracks appearing on the Bela-Uthal-Hub National Highway.

He said these matters need to be implemented on priority basis to facilitate the road users, local population and industrial sectors. He directed to ensure safety measures in view of monsoon rains in the coming days so that any untoward situation can be dealt with in time. He further said Agha along with a team of experts is examining the damage caused to the highways of Sindh and Balochistan due to floods, and in the light of their consultation, a comprehensive plan will be chalked out for the complete rehabilitation of the roads.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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