August 30, 2019 at 5:56 pm
CHITRAL: The residents of the villages of Mori Payeen, Barghuzi and Kuju Bala have decided to block the Chitral-Booni Road at Kaghuzi to protest the apathetic attitude of the government towards their plight caused by the drought-like situation in the area after the siphon pipes were washed away by glacial lake outburst flood on July 7.
Talking to the local media visiting the villages here on Friday, the residents Khawaja Amanullah, Zafar Khan, Muhammad Sharif and others complained that the villages facing acute shortage of water for the last 53 days during which they have lost their decades-old fruit trees, vegetables, crops of maize, pulses and fodder.
They said that they also sold their livestock at throw-away prices when the villages were rendered devoid of vegetations after the villages lost the sources of water to the flood.
The villagers said that the earned a large sum of money for their sustenance by selling the grains of maize, pulses, pomegranates and tomato while for many households, the agriculture was the sole source of income which they have lost.
They said that they were forced to fetch water from the river situated at large distances from the villages ranging from 1 to 3 kilometers while a number of diseases due to poor hygienic condition triggered by the shortage of water.
They said that on one hand the government, the government is boasting of billion tree tsunami for mass plantation but on the other hand, the three villages are losing trees standing on hundreds of acres of land.
They said that a small amount of about Rs. 10 million can solve the problem as 130 water pipes of 20 feet length and 8 inches diameter in Mori, 110 in Barghuzi and 100 in Kuju Bala will reconnect the siphon system with the stream of Golen Gol.
They said that the villagers will carry out the manual work on ‘self help’ basis if the pipes are provided to them while the DC of Lower Chitral had promised them to provide it within three days but more than 40 days passed since then.
They said that the villagers will have no option but to go on protest till the acceptance of their demand and they expressed their resolve to continue it till the pipes are transported to the place and unloaded because they have lost their trust on the words of the government officers and the elected leaders.
When the Chitral Lower DC Naveed Ahmed was contacted to know his version, he said that the disaster funds for the rehabilitation of the infrastructures affected by the flood were in the final phase of approval of the provincial government.
He said that he will not lose a moment in providing the pipes to the affected villages who were really passing through an ordeal due to the disconnection of water source about two months ago.