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Fri, Jul

Paktia roads to be kept open: official

East
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Paktia-roadsThe public works director on Thursday said his department was ready to keep accumulated snow off all major highways and roads in southeastern Paktia province.

Eng. Abdullah Durrani told Pajhwok Afghan News the Kabul-Gardez and the Gardez-Khost highways as well as roads connecting the provincial capital with districts would be kept open.
He said Paktia has a total of 350 kilometres of roads and they were ready and had all required equipment to keep the two major highways cleared of snow at the Set-aw-Kandaw and Tirah areas.

He said previously convoys of foreign troops would use the two highways and would create traffic problems, but with their withdrawal from most areas, the issue had been resolved to a great extent.
Traffic officials also said they were ready to prevent traffic jams. Traffic Department head Mohammad Gulab said traffic personnel had been appointed on all highways to implement traffic rules from dawn to dusk.

He advised drivers to keep along required equipment to avoid being stuck on roads, saying if they followed rules, it would help reduce accidents.  
However, some drivers complained they remained stranded for days due to delay in removing snow from roads. 

Abdul Baqi, a driver, said snow and icy conditions were creating problems for drivers, especially at the Set-aw-Kandaw area.
Another driver Sabir complained public works department officials arrived late by two to three days to remove accumulated snow.  
The public works director acknowledged the issue, saying it was due workload as they had to reach many locations to remove snow. 

Drivers and passengers often face problems on highways during winter in Paktia, which witnesses travellers losing their lives to accidents and slipping vehicles.