'Killer Highways' claim more lives than terrorism in Balochistan



The deadly highway accidents have claimed more human lives than terrorist incidents in Balochistan, Pakistan’s least developed province. Fatal road accidents are almost the order of the day in Balochistan, which covers half of the country in terms of area. It is a common notion that the day dawns with a traffic accident in the province.

Especially, Quetta-Karachi highway, which is commonly called the ‘killer highway’ continues to claim precious human lives. Much has been said and written about this. But with no effective response from the authorities to bring an end to the deadly accidents. At least 41 people were burnt to death when a passenger coach fell into a ravine near the Bela area of district Lasbela Balochistan.

Balochistan Govt fails to implement recommendations of JIT

The Balochistan government has formed a joint interrogation team (JIT) to probe into the incident. Although, the provincial government failed to implement past JIT’s recommendations in this regard.

Two JITs led by the then Commissioner Kalat Division, Bashir Ahmed Bangulzai submitted thorough reports about the causes and prevention of deadly traffic accidents on Quetta-Karachi highways and other highways across Balochistan.
Causes of accidents as per the JIT report filed by Mr. Bangulzai after 15 passengers were burnt to death in Kan Mehtarzai district Killa Saifullah.

Causes of road accidents

1: Reckless driving 2: Overspeeding 3: Overloading 4: Narrow and poor roads 5: No timely repair and maintenance of roads by NHA 6: No signals 7: Overloaded marble trucks on Quetta-Karachi highway 8: Passenger buses carrying petrol and diesel 9: Drivers using drugs

10: No Fire extinguisher in buses 11: Absence of Motorway Police

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has already inaugurated the dualization of the Quetta-Karachi highway. However, the pace of work is extremely slow. With this pace, the dualization work cannot be completed for the next two decades. The federal and provincial governments should make sure timely completion of the dualization work from Karachi to Chaman on a war-footing basis.

The Balochistan government should also ensure the implementation of the recommendations of the JIT reports.

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Quetta Voice is an English Daily covering all unfolding political, economic and social issues relating to Balochistan, Pakistan's largest province in terms of area. QV's main focus is on stories related to education, promotion of quality education and publishing reports about out of school children in the province. QV has also a vigilant eye on health, climate change and other key sectors.