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Chitralis begin drive to highlight misery

PESHAWAR: The elders of Chitral on Monday complained about the misery of flood-hit communities in their district and announced the launch of the `Save Chitral, Save Pakistan` campaign to draw the attention of the government and donor agencies towards it for corrective measures.

They demanded allocation of adequate funds for the rehabilitation of displaced families.

Accompanied by elders of different Chitral areas and journalists, former tehsil nazim Sartaj Ahmad Khan told a news conference here that the people in his district had been in distress since being hit by the flash floods and that the immediate rehabilitation was the only solution of their misery.

He said the destruction by flooding was unprecedented but the government had yet to take appropriate steps for the rehabilitation of displaced families.

The former nazim said the melting of over 500 glaciers had ruined Chitral villages, while several others still faced the flooding threat.

He said Arandu, Dameel ,Ashrait, Janjar, Yar Khon, Ursoon, Kesu, Shishi Koh, Madak Lasht Klusht, Dervesh Town, Ayun, Birir, Bomborate, Rambor and Chitral town were the worst hit by the calamity. Sartaj claimed the floods claimed 36 lives and washed away hundreds of houses in the district along with many roads and bridges.

He said the people of Chitral mostly depended on agriculture but the flooding deprived them of their only source of income by destroying agricultural land and fruit orchards.

The former nazim said landslides had endangered the people`s life in Bomborate, Rambor, Birir, Reshun, Garam Chashma and Kuragh so they were unable to return to their areas.

He said supply of foodstuff, clean drinl
Sartaj said Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and Chief Minister Pervez Khattak should ensure early rehabilitation and reconstruction of the devastated villagesin the district, while national and international donor organisations should play their role in this respect.

Chitral journalist Nadir Khwaja said power supply was a major problem for the people of his area as floods had played havoc with local power stations and power supply system.

He said the government should increase forest royalty for Chitral people from 60 percent to 100 percent and supply them 30 megawatt electricity free of charge so that they could stop cutting forests for firewood. He also demanded supply of gas for the district. Bureau Report