Govt fails to rebuild flood-hit roads, water channels

CHITRAL, May 9: The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government has lost four-month time favorable for executing the projects aimed at rehabilitation of road infrastructure and water channels hit by last year`s flash floods in Chitral valley. road2A consultant engineer associated with one of the public works departments, requesting anonymity, told this correspondent that with the start of summer season the water level in all the streams of sub-valleys recorded steep rise due to melting of glaciers. He said that the ideal working season for the rehabilitation work on roads and irrigation channels was from December to early April when the water level touched the lowest point. He said that not a single scheme could be completed during the current fiscal as the places where foundation work was to be carried out for constructing embankments for the protection of roads and irrigation channels would be inundated by water. The provincial government has recently allocated Rs300 million for the restoration of disaster-hit road and irrigation infrastructure in Chitral. Some projects have been planned to enhance the depth of streams and channel any flash floods to them this year. Ayun and Kalash Valleys Development Programme chairman Muhkamuddin criti-cised the government for its indifference to the plight of the residents of Kalash valleys of Bumburate, Birir and Rumber where roads were damaged last year, but no rehabilitation work was carried out. A contractor working with the C&W and irrigation departments, Rahat Khan, said that it could take another two months to fulfil formalities of processing and approval of tenders for the projects and by that time fresh floods could hit the valley with start of torrential rains in July The irrigation department had planned 11 rehabilitation projects, including protection walls and repair of channels at Ayun, Reshun Gol, Drosh, Booni, Junali Koch, Ashrait, Jughoor, Arandu and Beori Gol. The C&W department will construct the suspension bridges at Reshun and Rayeen in upper Chitral, which had been washed away by flash floods in July last year, apart from carrying out projects for rehabilitation of Kalash valley roads, Sheshi Koh road, Terich road and Torkhow road. MNA Shahzada Iftikharuddin said that he had played his role to get the funds approved and released for rehabilitation of infrastructure. He alleged that due to the incompetence of provincial government the people of Chitral could face difficult time again this summer.–Zahiruddin]]>

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