CHITRAL: The last week’s heavy snowfall has caused acute shortage of daily use items and life saving drugs in Chitral.

Food items like wheat flour, rice, ghee, pulses, milk, sugar and vegetables are in short supply due to the closure of Lowari tunnel for last two weeks.

In the aftermath of the heavy snowfall, the approach roads to the tunnel on either side were closed by snow avalanches and boulders.

Sajjad Ahmed, a village council nazim, said shortage of wheat flour and rice was the most acute.

He said although there was stock of wheat in the rationing centres of food department, it could not be grinded in the mills owing to fuel shortage.

Mr Ahmed said in the past shopkeepers replenished their stocks of daily use items on weekly basis during the winter season as the Lowari tunnel was opened three days a week, which did not happen this year.

He said the shortage of oak wood for heating and cooking purpose coupled with the short supply of natural gas had also added to the agony of the people.

Nabi Shah, a vegetable vendor, said except for potato and beans, all other vegetables were supplied from the national market and similar was the case with chicken and beef which are brought here from Punjab.

The closure of Lowari tunnel for last two weeks has left us with no vegetable except potato, and rendered us jobless as we derived our sustenance on daily basis, he said, adding no fruit was available in the local market either.

Consumers complained that due to the lethargy of the district administration and the food department, the traders had resorted to hoarding, thus creating artificial shortage of daily use items to earn extra bucks.

Mukhamuddin, a social worker, said benefiting from the closure of Lowari tunnel, both the traders and transporters were fleecing the consumers, and the district administration was a silent spectator.

He said that the transporters had increased fare on the intra-district routes by 200 per cent. Fakhre Alam, a druggist, said medicines, particularly life saving drugs, were in short supply.

Published in Dawn February 13th, 2017

Opinion

Editorial

Crisis conference
Updated 04 Feb, 2023

Crisis conference

PTI's refusal to engage with the govt in such testing times will only be seen as sign of ideological bankruptcy.
Revenge politics
04 Feb, 2023

Revenge politics

A SENSE of déjà-vu prevails as cases pile up against PTI politicians, many of whom, along with their allies and...
Inappropriate remarks
04 Feb, 2023

Inappropriate remarks

OFFICIALS of the state, especially when representing the country at international forums, need to choose their words...
Delay in the offing?
Updated 03 Feb, 2023

Delay in the offing?

Govt must realise that political stability in the country cannot be achieved by extra-constitutional actions.
Divisions in PML-N
03 Feb, 2023

Divisions in PML-N

DISCORD and drama in PML-N ranks escalated this week when Shahid Khaqan Abbasi revealed he no longer holds a party...
Wikipedia ‘downgrade’
03 Feb, 2023

Wikipedia ‘downgrade’

ATTEMPTS to police the internet by states, often by giving opaque justifications for the action, are never a good...