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