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Garam Chashma diary: Flood situation

 

Chitral --:All the four tributaries of Garam Chashma river are in high floods for some time causing huge destruction in the low land areas specially Garam Chashma town. At least nine shops have been washed away . The occupants were able to save some valuables while structures and less valuable items have been washed away. Embankments constructed by the Government or on self help basis have been destroyed. The total loss is worth millions of rupees . In the upland areas pastures ,plantation ,standing crops and fruit gardens have been washed away. There are reports of loss of livestock which are yet to be confirmed, because the cattle are now in the very high altitude which are still inaccessible due to inclement weather. Garam Chashma remains cut off from Chitral town for the last 48 hours and students desiring to appear in entry tests are stranded in Garam Chashma, and their careers are at risk.
 

The losses have been aggravated by encroachments in river banks and uncontrolled grazing in upland areas which the Government has so far failed to regulate. Under the law of the land the Government is responsible to regulate the use of these lands and grant user rights to people which it has not done despite the people having brought it to the notice of the Government in the background of the earlier floods in 2005. The people hold government apathy or collusion with land grabbers responsible for their woes year after year.
 

The present floods are yet another eye opener for the Government. If it still fails to discharge its duty the people’s patience would run out or the Government would continue repairing the damages year after year at huge cost to public exchequer.
 

We hope that the government would wake up to its responsibilities before it is too late by managing the glaciers, regulating use of pasture lands , removing encroachments on river banks and widening them to allowing floods to pass, apart from constructing protective walls on both sides of the river specially in vulnerable areas.-- (Report by Islamuddin , 29 July 10)
 

 

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