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Mastuj residents continue protest against corrupt departments

CHITRAL, Dec 23: People of Mastuj subdivision have been protesting against ‘corrupt officers’ of the communication and works, public health engineering and irrigation departments. The protesters, including activists of political parties and civil society, united under the banner of Tehreek Tahafuz-i-Huqooq Mastuj marched on the roads of Chitral city here against what they said rampant corruption in Chitral departments. Addressing gatherings at different places, the leaders, including Mohammad Sarfarz Ali, Rahmat Salam, Abdur Rahman, Shujauddin and others, alleged that the officials awarded contracts of over 80 per cent development schemes to their blue-eyed boys. They said development projects initiated by the three departments had been left incomplete despite release of funds. “These projects have been shown as complete on paper,” they alleged. The protesters said the PTI-led provincial government had turned a blind eye to the rampant corruption in Chitral departments. The Mastuj people said 35-kilometer Booni-Mastuj road had been shown widened and blacktopped on paper, but not an inch of the road was complete till date, while the contractors had already been paid by the communication and works department. The protesters said the public health engineering department had also failed to complete a single water supply scheme in Mastuj subdivision and squandered public money. They maintained that the irrigation department had embezzled millions of rupees of public during last two decades. They said that about Rs1 billion was spent on water schemes of Atahk, Droon Ovir and Lawi, but the schemes couldn’t be made functional. They also ridiculed the provincial government for celebrating anti-corruption week in the province while protecting the corrupt elements at the same time. Later, the protesters addressed a press conference in Chitral Press Club and said not a single officer of the departments had been punished for committing corruption. They demanded judicial inquiry against the officers responsible for the failed projects otherwise they would stage a hunger strike till death in front of the Supreme Court in Islamabad.–Zahiruddin]]>

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