If things do not change, Chitral town is going to be one of the most
polluted towns in Pakistan. Chitral District is famous for its
beautiful high mountains, glaciers, clean streams, and friendly
people. During the summer season, tourists visit Chitral for its
beauty, cool weather and historical sites. Unfortunately, Chitral
town is becoming dirtier and stinker day by day. The three major
causes of environmental damage in Chitral town come from excess
garbage, raw sewage, and the presence of a car wash.
First of all, garbage is scattered all around the town. Plastic
bags, bottles, and many other pollutants are thrown everywhere.
There is no system to collect this garbage and bring it for
recycling. As a result, the pile of debris goes up every day. As we
know, cleanliness is important for our health, and it is also a part
of our religion, but people make garbage and never think who will
clean this up for them. But this is not the only problem.
In addition, raw sewage makes the town dirty. Unfortunately, Chitral
town has no suitable plan for sewage disposal. A sewage system must
be underground, but in Chitral both rain water and sewage from
washrooms flow through open drainage systems. Because of scattered
garbage around the town, the broken trenches overflow and dirty
water flows onto the streets. Although it is terrible during the
rainy season, but both community and district governments have no
concerns about it. All this dirt goes into the Chitral River.
However, this is not the only thing that damages the river.
Finally, many car washes in the town create pollution that goes into
Chitral River as well. There is no special plan to make car washes
environmentally friendly. Currently, they do not treat water before
it goes into the river. Moreover, the dirty water contains oils,
grease, and many other chemicals which are slowly poisoning the
river as they enter it. A couple of people do their businesses, and
they put polluted water into the river and create huge health issues
both for humans, fish, and wildlife.
In short, Chitral faces environmental issues because of scattered
garbage, poor drainage systems, and inefficient car washes. The
piles of garbage make the town dirty and stinky. Within a few years,
Chitral town will be full of garbage. Ultimately, tourists will no
longer want to come to Chitral. The open drainage system brings all
garbage into the river and makes the water polluted which increases
the chance of sickness and disease. Car washes have been made just
above the Chitral River, and put slow poison every day into the
river. Chitral is a peaceful and lovely place to live, but who will
answer these questions: Do we need a law to protect our environment?
Who is responsible for this pollution and is there any solution to
resolve the above issues? --Nazir Khan,
Calgary Alberta Canada 10 Dec 2011
I read your
article Environmental Issues in Chitral Town and i am really upset
after seeing the issues out there. I am from chitral and in last
year of my BS hons in Environmental science from Punjab University
Lahore.I want to give my suggestion to mange these issues by public
awareness and other ways like making the waste collections points or
placing stationary containers for the garbage. Who will take all
these steps? before the situation gets worse
-- Nusrat Shaheen, Lahore 11 Dec 2011.
This is in
further to Nazir Khan’s article with titled “Environmental Issues in
Chitral Town”, where the learnt writer pointed out several
environmental issues in Chitral town. The environmental issues (open
drain sewage, solid wastes, vehicles’ wash liquid waste etc) in
whole Chitral in general and in Chitral town in particular are going
to worse day by day, if no reckonable measures implement by the
concern authorities. The exact facts and figures about the current
trends of these environmental issues need to be probe out by
conducting intensive research studies.
It can only be
possible when the student (like Nusrat Shaheen) and others studying
in different universities choose district Chitral for their research
study area. I don’t think that the data provided or published by
Government and NGOs are precise, as they have their own interest of
getting chunk of funds to run their earning shops. In Chitral you
can find many interesting areas to do your research studies, as God
Almighty bless us numerous natural resources in the form of Chitral
river, alpine forest, various extinct wild species, geological
The people of
Chitral are only hope to protect our natural resources from illegal
or unsustainable usage and to preserve our environment for a healthy
life with the supports of our educated young generation. So, the new
generation’s contributions in this noble cause will be highly
appreciated. Moreover, Student wants to do research on Chitral river
can get help from our recently published article and it can be
access by Google browsing “assessment of seasonal variations in
surface water quality of Chitral river, Pakistan”. Shams Ali Baig PhD Scholar, Zhejiang
University Hangzhou, China 12 Dec 2011.
etymologically the word has been taken from the chitrali word
CHETRAR, which means fields. But now it is really pathetic to see
the situation here in Chitral. A few days ago I was passing through
the main bazaar of Chitral that one of the shopkeeper threw empty
pockets of juices and milk to the narrow water channel. When I asked
not to do that he answered that all the shopkeepers are doing so.
Again I agree with the writers that public awareness is really
important for the eradication of the problem.
Secondly, the pollution problem in the DHQ hospital is at peak.
Wastes contaminated with blood and tissue, separating these
hazardous wastes from ordinary waste. Hospitals and doctors' offices
must be especially careful with needles, scalpels, and glassware,
called “sharps.” Pharmacies discard outdated and unused drugs;
testing laboratories dispose of chemical wastes.
All the garbage and used medical material are burnt in front of the
Operation Theatre. I request the Medical Superintendent of DHQ
hospital to take immediate steps to solve the problem. -- Shahid
Hussain, Zargandeh Chitral 12 Dec 2011.
I am thankful
to all very educated and sincere writers for their nice suggestions.
We can solve the environmental issues of Chitral by considering the
First of all, it is the government’s responsibility to provide
facilities to its public. It needs money to develop underground
sewage system, hire employees, provide garbage trucks and put
garbage bins around the town. The garbage should go away from the
town and be dumped in a specific area safely. For this purpose,
Chitral really needs outside expert (consultant) to solve this big
internal issue. The government should make laws to protect the
environment and give penalties for littering around the town.
Moreover, the government should provide technical support for the
car washes to make them environmentally friendly.
Secondly, the public should know their rights. We need a strong and
honest leadership to create public awareness and put pressure on
government to solve the issues. The public should pay the government
to clean up their garbage and run the facility.
Last but not least, the media can help bring this issue to higher
authorities through more public awareness to the problems.
Specially, the pictures of open burning chemicals and other debris
near operation room in DHQ hospital should go on the electronic
In short, environmental issues of Chitral town can be solved through
a strong and honest leadership, community awareness and put pressure
on government to solve it.-- Nazir Khan,
Calgary Alberta, Canada 15 Dec 2011
I would like to
thank and join my friends who have written on the subject. Three
decades ago Chitral town used to have one of the most beautiful and
serene environments, now the dumping of rubbish in many places, the
scattered litter, the open sewage, unsafe slaughter house effluents,
and mushroom growth of haphazard and ill planned buildings have made
it an unsafe and ugly place to live.
impact of this situation has made the town very much disease
friendly. The most unsafe place is the DHQ hospital. The private
rooms and washrooms are in a bad shape.
garbage is frequently seen lying around. The local administration of
the hospital is helpless, one insider of the hospital disclosed that
there were 24 positions of doctors vacant in the hospital alone. The
frequent outage of electricity in the hospital is a curse.
Is it out of
miracle or the expertise of doctors, many a patient survive surgery
operation during the abrupt outages. When there is no light the
children ward gives a pathetic look, you can see the lonely nurse
hectically moving around the patients with mobile torch in her hand
to lead her from one to the other patient. If God saves us, no one
can kill us.
-- Shah Karez, Chitral 16 Dec 2011