The Sarhad Rural Support Programme (SRSP) on Saturday held the groundbreaking ceremony for the 13.5km Arandu Gol Road here to the joy of the people of Arandu valley.
General officer commanding of Swat division of Pakistan Army Major General Javed Mehmood Bukhari was the chief guest on the occasion, where people from the valley and adjoining areas showed up in large numbers.
The Rs109 million road project is financed by the German government through the Pakistan-Afghanistan-Tajikistan Regional Integration Programme.
It will take 18 months to complete.
Major General Bukhari told participants that the road would bring progress and prosperity to the inaccessible Arandu Gol area.
“After being posted to the area, I had a strong desire to see Arandu linked with other parts of the district by road. The first part of the desire has been fulfilled in the form of the construction of Mirkhani-Arandu Road with the UAE help, while work on the second has begun in the shape of the groundbreaking for this road,” he said.
General Bukhari praised the SRSP staff for working diligently under difficult circumstances and said the organisation had won credibility with international and national agencies for responding to the peoples needs and delivering the goods.
SRSP chief executive officer Shahzada Masoodul Mulk said the road project was conceived by him in 1992 in light of the peoples tremendous difficulties when he headed another organisation.
He said 26,000 people living in the mountainous villages would benefit from the road and that his organisation would continue helping local communities in other sectors of development.
Mulk said the ideal situation of peace in the area bordering Kunar and Nooristan areas was best suited for carrying out development activities in Arandu and Domil.
The function was also attended by Chitral Scouts commandant Colonel Naeem Iqbal, local MNA Shahzada Iftikharuddin, Chitral DC Aminul Haq and notables from Chitral and Drosh towns.
A senior citizen of Arandu, Haji Rozi Khan said the day was historic for local residents as their dream on getting a road 68 years of the country independence was near fulfillment.
He said living conditions in the valley were miserable due to the roads absence. He also complained health and educational facilities were almost nonexistent in his area.
PATRIP project manager Khadimullah highlighted technical aspects of the project and said the road would be built in line with international standards. “There will be no compromise on the quality of work,” he said.