Relief yet to reach affected people as lockdown continues

Updated April 08, 2020

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Women stage a protest in Kohat on Tuesday. — Dawn
Women stage a protest in Kohat on Tuesday. — Dawn

KOHAT: People in various areas of the province have complained about the slow process of relief distribution and non-inclusion of deserving people in the lists for the purpose amid the lockdown to contain coronavirus.

In Kohat, a large number of destitute and needy women held a protest demonstration against the denial of ration to them by the government for the last 20 days.

They also blocked the University Road, which was opened after negotiations with the police and the people from the ration packing department.

A protesting woman told mediapersons that the promise made by the government about provision of ration was false and they had been given nothing by the PTI members.

Needy women block road in Kohat to protest denial of ration

The other participants said that the government was claiming that they were distributing ration at mohallah level, but they had not seen anybody distributing relief items so far.

On the other hand, CM’s adviser MPA Ziaullah Bangash said that lists of 18,000 people had been finalised, but these were in the process of scrutiny.

In Shangla, the residents complained about the Ihsas Programme Survey conducted recently for providing financial support to the poor families who had been suffering due to lockdown amid Covid-19 pandemic.

They told mediapersons that the government had conducted a survey through the programme’s teams who allegedly registered undeserving people and left the deserving daily wage workers out.

Guldad Khan, a former village council nazim in Butyal Bisham, said he held a meeting with assistant commissioner, Bisham, and informed him about the irregularities and registration of undeserving people.

Abdullah, a local resident of Miankaly, also alleged favouritism in the survey.

When contacted, deputy commissioner, Shangla, Imran Hussain Ranjha said he had received complaints about the survey and the additional deputy commissioner, finance and planning, who was leading the programme had been informed about for their redressal.

In Mingora,civil society members here on Tuesday demanded of the government to instal hand washing facilities and provide relief packages to the poor communities during the Covid-19 pandemic.

They demanded this in an emergency meeting of civil society members organised by Khwaga Kaliwal Kokarai Swat Advisory Council.

They said that Kokarai union council was thickly populated with more than 40,000 people, majority of whom belonged to poor communities who had no source of income during the lockdown.

“The relevant departments and organisations must take care of the marginalised communities who had no source of income during the lockdown. They work as daily wagers in restaurants, construction sector and many of them are low wage farmers,” said Fazal Maula, chairman of the advisory council.

Akthar Ali, president of the council, said that the area needed hand washing facilities at 25 locations.

Published in Dawn, April 8th, 2020