MANSEHRA: The students of two government schools have been attending classes in the open for the last one year due to the destruction of the buildings by Wapda for constructing a road to link the Dasu hydropower project site with Kamila town.

“The Wapda had pulled down the two school buildings but failed to reconstruct them at an appropriate alternative place, so the management have to hold classes under the open sky,” resident Maulana Waliullah Toheed told reporters in Dasu, the district headquarters of Upper Kohistan, on Monday.

Accompanied by a group of residents, he said the Wapda had grounded the Government Primary School and Government High School in Suo area as their buildings came in the way of a road being built to link the 4200 megawatts Dasu hydropower project with Kamila town.

“The Wapda had signed an agreement with the education department for the construction of both buildings at an alternative piece of land. One year has passed to it but the Wapda has yet to fulfil commitment forcing students to get education in the open,” he said.

Another resident, Ahmad Nabi, said the locals met local lawmakers and administration seeking reconstruction of schools, but to no avail.

“We want an early completion of the mega energy project in our district and are extending all possible cooperation to the administration and Wapda but hundreds of schoolchildren shouldn’t suffer,” he said.

Resident Khursheed Ahmad said if there was some delay in the reconstruction of school buildings, the Wapda should provide prefabricated shelters for classrooms and teaching and other staff.

GUTKA BAN: The trader leader in Oghi tehsil has asked his community members not to flout the ban on the sale of gutka, a smokeless tobacco.

“The government has completely banned the sale and consumption of gutka, so traders shouldn’t sell it,” president of the Oghi traders central body Sarbuland Khan told reporters in Oghi on Monday.

He asked traders to destroy gutka stock on their own and said the trader body would help make the anti-gutka crackdown successful.

Published in Dawn, March 2nd, 2021

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