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SWABI: Tobacco growers on Tuesday demonstrated here, demanding the government’s intervention into recovery of their outstanding dues worth millions of rupees from the owner of a tobacco company.

The growers marched to Karnal Sher Khan Chowk, blocking Swabi-Mardan and Swabi-Topi roads. They chanted slogans against the company and demanded immediate payment of dues.

First they gathered at the Jaganat Bridge and then marched to the district headquarters in a procession of tractor-trolleys and staged a sit-in at the busy intersection. The protest caused trouble to the commuters.

The growers said the company had outstanding dues of Rs105 million against tobacco cultivators from Swabi, Charsadda and Mardan, but the owner was adopting delaying tactics, forcing them to protest.

They warned that if the government failed to help them in the recovery of the amount they would have no option but to block the Islamabad-Peshawar Motorway at Swabi interchange. Swabi deputy commissioner Salman Lodhi held talks with the leaders of the growers, assuring them that he would write a letter to Pakistan Tobacco Board in that regard. After the assurance, the protesting growers dispersed.

POWER SUSPENSION: The torrential rain coupled with thunderstorm caused damage to standing crops and also disrupted power supply in various localities on Monday night. A number of villages linked with the Zaida feeder remained without electricity for long hours which caused problems for people. The power supply was restored after 16 hours on Tuesday.

The affected areas included Zaida, Gadoon Amazai, Razaar and various localities of Chota Lahor.

When contacted, a Pesco official said falling of polls and trees on main supply lines caused suspension of power supply to numerous areas. He said the Pesco staff continued restoration work as soon as the rainstorm stopped.

WATER PROJECT: Prof Khanzadi Fatima Khattak, Vice Chancellor of Women University Swabi, on Tuesday inaugurated a clean drinking water project.

The facility was designed and developed by Dr Mohammad Ismail, assistant professor at the department of chemistry.
The water assembly consists of different stages, including sand and pebbles filtration, absorption or activated carbon filtration, micron filtration, treatment and minerals addition. It produces 5,000 litres purified water per day that is sufficient for 2,000 students, faculty and supporting administrative and finance staff.

It is fabricated mainly from indigenous materials costing less than Rs80,000.

In her address, the vice chancellor appreciated the dedicated work of Dr Ismail. She emphasized the importance of clean drinking water and said the Women University Swabi would like to extend the facility in collaboration with government as well as private organisations to hospitals, colleges, schools and other public places.

Published in Dawn, September 12th, 2018