130-year-old Ayubia Tunnel may collapse

Sewage from nearby houses seeping into the renovated passage

Ateeq Abbasi January 15, 2021


The historical 130-year-old British-era heritage, Ayubia Moto Tunnel, renovated a few months ago, could collapse because of seepage and out flow by the sewage of nearby houses of some influential people belonging to Islamabad and KhyberPakhtunkhwa (K-P).

The walls of the tunnel are dripping from different spots which can cause stones to slide and it might collapse. Galyat Development Authority (GDA) has turned a blind eye to the issue.

The local forest department and wildlife department closed the tunnel for the entry of tourists and locals after the report of the seepage emerged on the media, Galiyat DSP Galiyat Jamilur Rehman told The Express Tribune on Thursday.

DSP Reman said that he personally observed the situation and there was seepage inside the historical tunnel because of different sewerage lines of few houses near the tunnel. He said that the departments concerned are planning remedial measure to save the tunnel and avoid any future catastrophe. When contacted to the District Forest Officer, Wildlife, Muhammad Idrees for opinion of the current loss, he was furious on publishing of news about apathy of his department with regards to recent fire in Ayubia National Park.

The Ayubia Motto Tunnel was built in 1891 between Ghora Dhaka (presently Ayubia) to Khaira Gali (Murree) by the British to enhance the connectivity between the two main hill stations that served British officers as a escape from the blistering heat of Rawalpindi. A few months ago it was restored to its original glory from trash to treasure by the provincial government and the Ministry of Climate Change.

SAPM on Cliamte Change Malik Amin Aslam inaugurated the tunnel in October. The 130-year-old Britishera tunnel was found from a trash mound while digging a pit for plantation in Ayubia National Park. Owner of one of the nearby houses to the tunnel, exchairman WAPDA Shams Mulk said that he was in Peshawar and he will see the situation in his house in Ayubia, which was the cause of the damage in the historical tunnel. He said that he is totally aware and sensitised about the historical heritage, he will see the matter and manage the sewerage line of his house.

Local community leader, Ziafat Satti said that the local wildlife and forest department has not taken its responsibility and willingness to protect these heritage sites. While another civil society member and community leader, Ghanzanfar Abbasi said that the wildlife and forest department officers do not give weight to complaints by the locals and act only when the high-ups reprimand them following media reports


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