Workers leaving Chitral for employment

14 Nov, 2018

Many of such residents told Dawn at a local bus terminal on Tuesday that employment opportunities for them had reduced to almost zero due to halt to work on buildings, roads, water schemes, irrigation channels and protection structures.

They insisted that no new development scheme had begun in the region during the last couple of years, while work on ongoing projects had been stopped by the contractors rendering workers jobless.

“Until last year, a small part of our region’s workforce used to go to other parts of the country, especially Islamabad, Rawalpindi and other cities of Punjab, for employment until the advent of the spring season but the number has got so big this year,” a worker said.

The workers said halt to development projects by the government and work by non-governmental organisations had adversely affected the poor people in the district, where only government servants could afford to pay for essential items of life.

They said in the down country construction sites, Chitral workers were preferred to those from other districts and therefore, they found no trouble in getting jobs.

Some workers said they worked at a building site in the federal capital last year for five months during the winter season and earned extra money by working overtime.

The district head of one of the public works departments confirmed poor allocation of development funds in the current fiscal and said shortage of funds had led to the suspension of work on projects.

Published in Dawn, November 14th, 2018