PESHAWAR: Political leaders, members of civil society and journalists on Thursday urged the government to take prompt steps for controlling widespread soil erosion and protection of houses and land and imminent road destruction being caused by the wearing away of river banks at Reshun village in Upper Chitral district
The demand was made at a meeting of the Chitral Information and Helping Group held here with Member National Assembly Maulana Abdul Akbar Chitrali in the chair.
Member Provincial Assembly Maulana Hidayatur Rahman, former provincial minister Salim Khan, Abdul Ikram, Khwaja Saeed, Muhammad Ali Mujahid, Sabir Aman, Zulfiqar Ali Shah, Nadir Khwaja, Shams-un-Nabi were in attendance among others.
The participants expressed grave concern over the deteriorating situation arising out of the imminent destruction by the river at Reshun point in Upper Chitral district and the inordinate delay on the part of the government to tackle the lurking crisis.
The speakers said that the river erosion could cause a vast destruction, including the widespread soil erosion, destruction of road, houses, forests and agriculture land if corrective measures were not taken on emergency basis.
“It would not be possible for the government to control the situation being caused by further delay in taking steps for handling the looming perils of destruction of erosion of river banks in the area,” said MNA Maulana Abdul Akbar Chitrali.
He added that the river erosion would destroy the road at Reshun and would resultantly leave the district cut off from the rest of the country.
He believed it would cause a dangerous situation in the area in terms of destruction of infrastructure, people’s abodes and human losses.
“Even the Shandur festival will not take place if the road was not saved. It would also be a setback for promotion of tourism,” he went on to add.
The participants decided that a meeting would be held with Khyber Pakhtunkhwa chief minister soon to apprise him of the possible dangerous situation developing in Upper Chitral.
The meeting participants also expressed concern that the newly declared district of Upper Chitral was given representation in the provincial and National Assembly.
They agreed to contact Election Commission of Pakistan as well as move court and pass a resolution from the assembly for the restoration of provincial assembly seat for the district before the upcoming general elections.
The members also decided that a meeting would be held with China-Pakistan Economic Corridor project Chairman Lt-Gen (retd) Asim Salim Bajwa for inclusion of the Dir-Chitral road in the CPEC project.
“There is a confusion about the project as it is vital for the people of Chitral and Gilgit-Baltistan,” the MNA said.
The meeting expressed sympathies with the relatives of victims of a road accident in Yarkhun valley and assured every possible help to the affected families.
A number of other matters pertaining to development of the area, promotion of education and provision of health facilities also came under discussion during the meeting.
The participants lauded the role and services of the group as well and vowed to continue efforts to achieve the desired goals.