receives relief goods but remains cut off
Chitral --Garam Chashma valley remains cut off
from its District headquarters in Chitral town for the past one
month due to damage to roads during the recent floods. As a
result acute shortage of food stuffs, medicines and other items
has taken place. Potato crop worth Rs. 150 million is awaiting
export and there are fears that the crop will go waste if the
road is not opened soon hitting the farmers and creating potato
shortage in cities.
A meeting of local notables was held in Pamir Degree College
hall to discuss the situation and it was decided to reopen the
road on self help basis. The campaign is being led by Garam
Chashma Development Organization. During the last two days 20 km
road up to Shoghore has been reopened on self help basis. Work
on the remaining 25 km stretch from Shoghore to Chitral has been
contracted out by C&W Department but the pace of work is slow
and heavy machinery available at site is not being fully pressed
into service for inexplicable reasons. To meet this situation
the people of Garam Chashma, Karimabad and Arkari valleys, have
decided to start work in the remaining portion on self help
basis in protest against the slow pace of work by C&W.
In the meeting resentments were expressed against the step
motherly treatment of Garam Chashma by the relief agencies,
which have ignored the valley in the supply of relief goods
despite the fact that all food stocks have depleted in the
market and people are running from pillar to post to procure
daily use items. The apparent discrimination is adding salt to
injury which needs to be addressed urgently.
Meanwhile later today relief goods were airlifted to the area
through helicopter which somewhat cheered up the depressed faces
of the stranded people, running short of food supplies. The
Provincial Population Minister, who flew into town today, is
supervising the distribution of relief goods among affectees.
Similar relief operations are already underway in Karimabad.
--Islamuddin,20 Aug 10.
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