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    November 01, 2016


Chitral has turned ‘Dubai’ due to the hectic construction activities after twin disasters

By Zahiruddin

CHITRAL: The devastation of large number of houses in the length and breadth of Chitral last year by the twin disasters of flash flood and earthquake has led to creation of immense number of job opportunities to both skilled and unskilled labour force in Chitral thereby make them prosper.

The devastation also led to the rapid expansion of the business related with construction materials in Chitral city while numerous outlets have also been opened in every nook and corner of the district to respond to the abnormally higher needs of the materials.

An official of an organization working on livelihood improvement project in upper Chitral, Gul Afzal Khan told Chitral Times  that during his enumeration process, he found that about hundred percent work force is engaged in construction work as the construction of the damaged houses is still in progress.

He said that no labourer did go to the down districts this year for seeking job there during the winter season as they used to go there every year due to the galore of job opportunities in their villages.

As per record of the district administration, more than twenty thousand houses had been damaged either completely or partially by the quake in October 2015 while the spate of flash floods lasting for two months last year had also washed away twenty two villages rendering the people homeless.

The affected people of both the quake and the flood started their construction work of their houses this year after pooling up resources which caused the acute shortage of labour force.

Abdur Razaq, the local distributor of construction materials for the last fifteen years in Chitral, said that as per his knowledge, more than one hundred outlets have been opened in the district dealing with corrugated galvanized iron (GI sheets), cement, paints and ceiling sheets.

He said that the volume of demand of the construction materials increased exponentially last year due to the construction work in large scale as tens of thousands of houses had been affected across the district.

“The people now opted to construct their houses using cement and GI sheets while in the past more than 90 percent houses used to be made of mud because the muddy houses were found very feeble to resist the jolts of earthquake”, he said.

Mr. Razaq said that a large number of non-governmental organizations also rushed to the help of the affected people of the earthquake and they purchased the construction materials in bulk quantity.

Amirullah Khan, a former union nazim of Reshun said that due to the acute shortage of some skilled labours like carpenter and mesons, many people of his village waited for many moths to start the construction.

He said that the high demand of the labour force has also led to increase their remuneration rate of the workers by 50 to 70 percent and now a carpenter earns Rs.1800 to 2000 rupees a day which was hardly 1000 rupees before the disasters of last year.

“Now one needs not to go overseas from Chitral for seeking employment with hefty salary as Chitral has turned ‘Dubai’ due to the hectic construction activities in the aftermath of earthquake and flash flood”, he said in a light vein and added that he knew a large number of skilled persons from Mardan district who were here in construction work.



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