Garam Chashma Diary: Public servants or public enemies?

By Islamuddin The demolition of NBP building and its shifting to a temporary premise at the first floor of a plaza has evinced interesting debate, some calling it a cabin while others an appropriate site. The truth is that the present accommodation is 5,500 square feet which is more than the old building but the problem is that it poses serious problem of access as aged pensioners find it difficult to walk up the stairs. Moreover, under the standing practice banks should be located on ground floor. The most unfortunate aspect of the issue is that no one took ownership of the first bank in Chitral to force realignment of the ring road to save the bank in the same way as was done for other private structures including graves at great financial cost to the taxpayer. Now everyone should brace for low profits on their deposits in NBP as its new building will cost Rs.100 million as against compensation for the old building which is expected to be around Rs.10 million. It is not understandable why the bank was demolished two years before the completion of the road after the construction of Bridge because by that time the bank building would have been constructed. Another serious malfeasance has been noticed in the widening work of Garam Chashma-Chitral road. First, allocation for its carpeting was spent on plum concrete to raise walls and now the second allocation for the same purpose is being spent on land filling and payment of compensation to land owners who may be ghosts because under the 1975 notification all riverbeds are state property and people of adjoining areas have user rights as specified by the government. The C & W department has violated instructions of sponsoring minister/MPA and the Revenue Department to debit the government with the compensation bill. When the EAC Revenue took notice of this violation and asked the EXEN (executive engineer) to appear for hearing, the entire office opted to abstain from office. On the second day when Police was sent to summon them only a junior engineer appeared to say that he had just joined the department. Let us put our fingers crossed as how things transpire. So far the department has had its way and no one could hold it accountable. Perhaps everyone has skeletons in his cupboard. In 2011 while diverting Garam Chashma river in front of village Gajal to raise a wall the villagers had been promised that the river would be re-diverted to its original course after constructing the wall. Now one year has elapsed but the promise not kept and as a result the village faces imminent threat of annihilation due to floods rendering 1,000 people homeless. Yet another C & W bridge downstream of Gajal constructed at a cost of 5.4 million allows so narrow a passage to Murdan Flood Nulla that in 2010 its nearby two villages were nearly inundated due to blockage of the passage by the bridge. This bridge needs to be demolished and then reconstructed to save the Garam Chshma road and the two villages. Ideally, all responsible for this work should be punished and money recovered from them. Public enemies, disguised as public servants, deserve no mercy.  ]]>

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *