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'Unchecked quarrying causing landslides along Garam Chashma road'

Asuret residents complained that waste material from Lowari tunnel contaminating their drinking water.

CHITRAL, April 25: The residents of Garam Chashma have complained that unchecked quarrying of stones for construction purposes along the road to the valley had damaged it and was causing landslides during rains. But the C&W department was indifferent to the situation despite repeated requests.

garamSpeaking at a press forum on community empowerment jointly organised by Devolution Trust for Community Empowerment (DTCE) and Legal Aid Programme for Human Rights (LAPH), they said last month the road remained closed for vehicular traffic for three weeks due to the landslides. The participants also assailed the district administration for failing to check the prices of commodities of daily consumption in the markets. They complained that though the official price lists were issued to traders after the monthly meeting of district price committee they were not implemented. The participants said they were also facing problems owing to closure of Reshun hydropower station for the last two months, breakdown of wireless local loop telephones in most villages of upper Chitral and shortage of safe drinking water in many villages of Lotkoh valley. Residents of Asuret village have expressed concern over the effluent discharged from the under construction Lowari tunnel site, which is contaminating water resources and causing diseases. They complained that the toxic waste was drained directly into the stream which fed the villages of Asuret and Ziarat. The speakers said that as per the terms of the contract the project managers were bound to safely dispose of the excretions from the project site where good deal of chemicals were used in the course of preparation of mixtures for concrete and spraying. They said that the number of gastrointestinal diseases and allergy were on the rise since the start of work on the project, while the farming was also adversely affected due to the use of contaminated irrigation water. The chairman of LAPH Niaz Ali Shah and project coordinator Irfan Qazi said that the aim of holding the press forum on quarterly basis was aimed at providing an effective way to the people to highlight their issues.    ]]>

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