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     July 22,  2015



Prime Minister visits Chitral

By Zahiruddin

The Chitral town is without a drop of drinking water just on the day when both the prime minister and the chief minister are on their visit to Chitral to console the flood affected people that has paralyzed life by destroying physical infrastructures.

The problem popped up when Golen Gol water supply scheme developed technical fault which had been completed just one year before at a cost of 450 million rupees by public health engineering department.

Interestingly enough, the provincial secretary of PHE along with superintending engineer have established their camp in Chitral but they no knowledge about the breakdown of the scheme as the SE Mujtaba Khan expressed his ignorance about the situation.

The Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PDMA) has yet to compile the damages to the physical infrastructures of road, drinking water supply schemes, irrigation channels and hydro power stations.

An official of PDMA when contacted in Chitral, said that the report is on the verge of completion but he was not able to give the details when asked.

The affected people have demanded restoration of the infrastructures on emergency basis and open the major roads, restore the water supply schemes and irrigation channels.

Member elect of tehsil council from Karimabad, Muhammad Ali Shah, in a press conference here on Wednesday, expressed his deep concerns over the inordinate delay in the restoration of roads and irrigation channels in Lot Koh valley.

He said that the farmers of the valley will suffer financial loss as the crop of potato will wither away in the absence of irrigation water while the intake points of about hundred percent irrigation channels have been swept away by flood.

Mr. Shah said that the area is also known for bean and tomato grown on commercial scale while the apple and pears are also grown there supplying to the national market.

Meanwhile, the prime minister Mian Nawaz Sharif visited Chitral and had an aerial view of a number of flood hit areas including Garam Chashma, Droshp, Shoghore, Kuragh, Kosht and Reshun.

He addressed the gathering of affected people in Kuragh, upper Chitral, and announced a sum of one billion rupees for the restoration of physical infrastructures damaged by the flash floods.

During his first visit to the district after assuming power two years ago, he also announced a number of development projects including completion of Lowari Tunnel project by the end of 2015, construction of Chakdara-Chitral motorway at a cost of 27 billion rupees and federalization of Chitral-Gilgit road.

He said that after the completion of Lowari tunnel project, Chitral Airport will be given the status of international airport while Chitral will be linked with China and Tajikistan by route and by air to make Chitral an economic hub.

The premier also announced to air drop food packages to the affected people in the far flung areas through the sorties of C-130 while he also promised to look into the matter of writing off the agricultural loans to provide relief to the farmers.

Earlier, the chief minister of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Parvaiz Khattak, said that he had encamped himself in Chitral till the restoration of damaged infrastructures.

He claimed that there was no dearth of financial resources for the mammoth work of the restoration of the facilities in the length and breadth of Chitral and no stone will be left unturned in earlier completion of the task.

The premier was also accompanied by governor KP Sardar Mehtab Khan Abbasi, federal ministers Parvaiz Rashid and Mushahidullah Khan.



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