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Garam Chashma 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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