ISLAMABAD: In a sarcastic response to public complaints, on dysfunctional lights along the Margalla Hills raod,the Capital Development Authority (CDA) has held monkeys responsible and said another 2-3 months were required to resolve the issue.
The majority of the road lights along city’s tourists’ heart Daman-e-Koh, that attracts significant number of tourists daily, are non-functional, posing serious threat to the safety of the visitors and local residents.
A CDA’s official at the services and Maintenance Department requesting anonymity said, “Monkeys are responsible for non-functioning of the lights. They break the top structure of the lights where bulbs are intact. The flexible mode of the lights entice them to play with, thus they get damaged.”
The official admitted his department has received a number of public complaints on the issue but paucity of funds was a hurdle to resolve it once and forever.
He also had a justified excuse for shortage of maintenance staff and vehicles to address day-to-day complaints.
The chairman CDA, he said, has recently accorded approval to replace all the defunct lights with new ones, but it would take another two to three months before the problem is fixed, as it involves lengthy departmental procedures.
Imran Khattak, a motorcyclist at Daman-e-Koh,said that two wheelers were more prone to accidents as motorists coming from opposite side use high beams, creating more visibility problem due to darkness on the raod.
“I had a narrow escape in an encounter with a drove of pigs that suddenly appeared from inside the jungle last Sunday night near Tilhar village’s entrance,” Raja Waqar who had come with his family to visit
the scenic site said. “I was lucky enough to control my vehicle,” he added.
He also urged for early restoration of the out of order lights for public safety.
Qing Ping Qin, a Chinese national, at Monal Restaurant talking to this scribe said, he was inspired from the beauty of the area and was a frequent visitor. “Traveling at night with family on a dark road was a matter of concern which must be taken up seriously,” he remarked.
The Chief Administrator of Monal Restaurant expressing his dismay over the situation said, their business activities start during night and almost 500 tourists daily enjoy food at their facility.
“The mishandling of affairs by the authorities concerned could affect the business of the area’s picnic spots that allure majority of the tourists under the stars in summer season,” he added.