KURAGH: A large number of people affected by the earthquake blocked the Chitral-Mastuj road near Kuragh and chanted slogans for acceptance of their demands.
They were protesting against provincial government’s step-motherly attitude toward them. The protesters also said relief goods sent to the area were being withheld by the local administration instead of distributing among the affected people on time. They said tents provided to the displaced people became usesless after the first snowfall of the season.
Asif Iqbal, one of the protesters, told ChitralToday that the Govt Primary School for Girls Charun-Oveer had developed cracks and the residents had stopped sending their children to the school fearing that it might collapse. He said that the residents along with their children had come to the road to register their protest and force the government to accept their demands.
They said that about 100 houses in the remote village had been damaged in the earthquake but the local administration was getting survey after survey and now had brought down the number of the damaged houses to just 50. He said the affected people wanted compensation for all the houses as they had become dangerous for living.
Mr Asif Iqbal said that the AC Mastuj and DC CHitral should visit the area to assess the damages themselves. He said the AC Mastuj at Booni, Hamidullah Khan Khattak, was delaying the distribution of the relief goods among the affected people of Charun-Oveer. The protesters said the Oct 26 earthquake rendered them homeless but the local administration, political representatives and the provincial government did not provide them sufficient assistance.
They said that during the severe cold and rain/snowfall they were compelled to live in tents without proper relief items. The protesters said that children and elderly people were falling sick in the cold but there were no medicines for them. Another protester said, “Our children are contracting different diseases due to the severe cold but Imran Khan is as usual resorting to extravagances.”
The protesters also chanted slogans against PTI chairman Imran Khan and in support of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. The protesters said the people of Charun-Oveer had voted for Sardar Hussain in the by-election but now when Charun-Oveer was devastated by the earthquake, the MPA was doing nothing for them. After about over three hours, the protesters dispersed after MPA Sardar Hussain met them and promised that the people of Charun-Overr would be paid the compensation amount in lump-sum within a week.