BAJAUR: Residents of hilly Batwar area of Salarzai tehsil here have ended boycott of the ongoing anti-polio campaign after the administration assured them of addressing their demand for restoration of mobile phone service.

Sources in the administration said here on Wednesday that a number of villagers of Batwar locality had boycotted the ongoing five-day anti-polio drive in protest against suspension/poor coverage of the mobile phone service in the area for last few weeks.

Officials said the health workers visited the locality, but the villagers refused to allow them administer polio drops to children till restoration of the phone service.

After receiving information, a team of officials led by Khar subdivision assistant commissioner Fazal Raheem visited the locality and during a meeting the villagers told them about the reason for the boycott.

The sources quoted the villagers as saying they would fully support the anti-polio campaign like past if the phone service was restored. They said they had also held a demonstration over the issue a week ago, but it couldn’t be resolved.

Speaking on the occasion, the assistant commissioner said the administration was aware of their concerns, but it was wrong to boycott anti-polio campaign. The officials said they were in close contact with the mobile company concerned to improve its phone service in the region.

Published in Dawn, January 14th, 2021

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