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Govt castigated for lukewarm response to flood devastation

Shaidas bridge in Laspur valley. Picture: social media

CHITRAL: The people of Chitral have castigated the ‘lukewarm’ response of the provincial government to restore the flood-hit roads, bridges, drinking water supply schemes and irrigation channels.

Razitu Billah, who is the spokesman of 31 village organisations of Chitral, told mediapersons here that both the Lower and Upper Chitral districts had lost more than 40 water supply schemes, over 100 irrigation channels and 43 link roads of different villages to flash floods, but the government had so far allocated only Rs40 million for their restoration, which was quite insufficient.

He regretted that despite visiting all the flood-hit areas, the provincial chief secretary had allocated meager funds for restoration of flood-hit infrastructure.

Mr Billah said any delay in restoration of flood-hit irrigation channels across the valley would harm maize, paddy, vegetable crops and fruit orchards, which were the major source of income for farmers.

He feared looming food insecurity in the remote villages if their link roads were not restored on an emergency basis to replenish food items. He said presently there was no hope for reopening roads given the insufficient funds.

He also demanded payment of prompt compensation to the people over the loss fruit orchards and livestock.

The civil society activist also demanded of the government to release the disaster-related funds directly to the deputy commissioners instead of Provincial Disaster Management Authority, which caused an inordinate delay in disbursal of funds. 



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