ISLAMABAD: A suspension bridge was inaugurated in Khairabad District, Chitral on Sunday to solve the problem of rural isolation that has been affecting the community especially during the time of heavy rainfall. Due to adverse conditions and limited mobility, residents were deprived of crucial socio-economic opportunities. The bridge has been constructed in partnership with Pakistan Poverty Alleviation Fund (PPAF) and Sarhad Rural Support Programme (SRSP) under the Programme for Poverty Reduction (PPR) by Italian Agency for Development Corporation ((AICS) Pakistan.
According to an announcement of the PPAF here on Sunday, Khairabad is comprised of 5 sub-villages (Khaiabad Khas, Thok Jal, Dhap, Junali, Camp) while there are 3 more connected villages of Kol, Wardhap and Wardhap Payeen. More than 450 households of Khairabad, Kol, Camp, Wardhap Payeen will directly benefit from this development. .
Village Khairabad in Union Council Drosh 1 has close to 450 households however, after recent flash floods, the community’s connection to main centers were cut off. With the construction of Jeepable bridge in the village, accessibility has been massively improved for the residents.
Emanuela Benini, Director AICS, Pakistan, is immensely pleased that the infrastructure has been given the name ‘Pak-Italy Friendship bridge’. She said, “AICS is aspires to lay the stone for a strong developmental network in Pakistan and this bridge is the first step towards it. The bridge will enable the local community to have better access to health and educational facilities just like other communities in the district.”
Shams Badruddin, Group Head Infrastructure, PPAF, said “Such developmental projects would allow the local community to have easier access to health and educational facilities in the District Chitral and this can lead to better socio economic conditions in the region.”
Deputy Commissioner Lower Chitral, Hassan Abid appreciated the Italian government, PPAF and SRSP for supporting the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government in the development of the district.
He said “Communication-related infrastructure plays the most critical role in the development of any area and thus, this newly built bridge could prove to radically transform the lives of the local residents.”
Construction of the bridge was the top priority of the village organization in Khairabad. Even the nearest bridge was 4 kilometres away thus it was cumbersome for the villagers to access it. Through PPR’s timely intervention of Rs 17.6 million, hundreds of people will now be able to commute with ease and strive towards a better life.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2021