Damaged road closes education door on girls

Sheikh Pervaiz Ahmed

CHINIOT – The damaged Bhowna-Aminpur Road has been causing problems for the villagers especially the female students who are forced to discontinue their education due to absence of public transportation.

It is a major road linking farms to the market. It also connects two major towns of Chiniot and Bhowana Town to Faisalabad via Aminpur Town. The road was last time repaired in 2000 but it started getting damaged soon after the repair. Till year 2002, its major parts were damaged and turned into heaps of stones.

It not only connects hundreds of villages with their tehsil headquarters Bhowana but also a way for thousands of students going to the schools situated on the road. The Govt Girls High School Chak 184 and Boys High School Chak 237-JB and a number of primary and elementary schools are situated on the road.

The people of these villages have been facing odds for the last 15 years as three successive political regimes could not redress their problem. The area comes under NA-86 and PP-74 but neither the MNA nor the MPA bothered to visit the area after their elections, said Ghulam Ali, an elder farmer of Chak 237-JB. Vehicles’ tyres burst, accidents occur and dust is seen flying everywhere on the road.

The transporters added insult to the injury as they have discontinued the public transport service between the two cities as they prefer the other route of Bhowana-Jamia Abad-Aminpur whose condition is better.

The high schools are situated at a distance of 10-15 kilometre from smaller villages and public transport is only way for the poor students getting education in these schools. Thus, the students have been facing great ordeal to continue education. As a result, the male students were seen standing on roadside begging for lift from motorcyclists, trucks, cars or other vehicles while the female students have been forced to discontinue their education due to lack of transportation.

An area education official requesting anonymity confirmed that the female enrolment is facing challenges as dropout is feared due to lack of transport. However, the department is trying to convince the parents to send their children to school anyway, he added.

Manzoor Ahmad Noon sub divisional officer (maintenance and repairs) at Punjab Highways Department, said that the department was focusing on maintenance and repair of main highways which connect Chiniot to big cities. He confirmed that the 24 kilometre long road was in a shambles and its 4 km long piece was impassable due to worst condition. But, he said, they had submitted an estimate of Rs30 million to Punjab government for its repair.

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