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Killer Highway; Karachi to Quetta: Zahra Baig Hoth

Highways are of most important for the quick connection to develope socially and economically in a country. They connect far-flung and urban areas together and decrease long journeys into shoter ones. Unhappily, the case is totally in the disparity in Balochistan.

Despite being blessed with natural resources, the province lacks well-construted highways. Besides this, the roads and burst and fully caved. Even shorter distances have increased into long and monotonous ones. Normally, as a rule in modern road construction, structure road networks tend to have particular period to expire but that rule doesn’t exist here in Balochistan.

Residue of broken roads that have been constructed ages ago still serve as highways for people of Balochistan. The broken roads and single-lane highways are leading causes of mortality in Balochistan. According to some reports, Balochistan has endured more from road accidents than terrorism.

Furthermore, the single-lane highway from karachi to Quetta is no less than a death trap and is well-known as “Killer Highway”. Back in the regime of Sardar Attaullah Mengal, the then CM Of Balochistan, National Highway(N-25) was established. The highway was a entente between Pakistan, Iran and Turkey under the central Treaty Organisation (CENTO). And the highway is also known as the Regional Coorperation Development Highway (RCD Highway).

The 813 km long highway expands between karachi and Chaman Balochistan, passing through vital cities like Khuzdar, Bela, Kalat and Quetta. Furthermore, the highway that is assumed to be a source of development of economy and affluence for those particular regions has sadly become a path to death due to the carelessness of successive governments that have ruled over Balochistan. The modernization of this highway is now a dream with the least chances of coming true.

Throughout, the number of the deadlist accidents that took place on the highway have been on an uphill track. The highway has now turned to a “death trap” beginning upon this highway is equal to inviting death. In addition, transport vechicles leaving from karachi to Quetta travel beyond the speed limits imposing the lives of passengers in utmost danger. Consequently, the recklessness of those drivers lead innocent passengers to enduring darkness. Still, the destituted class that constitutes the major portion of the population has to take this peril as no other option is available to them.

Moreover, a fire broke out in a bus crashed with another vehicle on the same highway in which dozen of people were burnt alive on the location. Subsequently, it was figured out that the bus was carrying Irani diesel for transporation .

The accident once again evoked strong indignation from the public as the government was censured and held responsible on Social Media. But regreltably, it was not the first time that a fire-related accident took place and assuredly it would not be the last given the extreme inattention of authorities. Back to January 2019, 27 passengers took their last breath when a bus collided with an oil tranker in Lasbela district.

Further, in 2018 more than 400 people took their last breath in highway accidents. Sadly, 35 passengers died on the same highway in 2014. According to the Provincial Home Department, 3,797 people have died in the wake of highway accidents in the last one decade. Besides this, every day in average of 15 people die in road accidents in Pakistan out of which roughly some 6 to 7 die in Balochistan, according to the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics Data on Traffic.

Wheras, in contrast, a total of 2,238 people have died in terrorism-related troubles. These reports distinctly show that road accidents have increased to panic level and we suffer more from accidents rather than terrorism. And yet the government does not seem to be serious enough to take note of on the issue.

Lastly, there is a lack of execution of safety rules and this is why drivers breach driving rules so glaringly. The highway police must be present at various entry points to meet emergenvy situations.

Since many lives have been lost as they had not been provied medical treatment on time, ambulance along with first-aid equipments are of vital importance at various point.

It is high time for the government to take action in letter and soul rather than making promises that are never kept up. Now, we are sick of glimpsing our beloved ones burning alive before our eyes and so are we of the begging authorities to rectifying our grievances. Certainly, we are too tired now to rise our voice for those innocent people who lose their lives due to the dereliction of duty of the government.

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