SWAT: The residents of scenic Gut Bela village have complained that they have been deprived of the basic facilities including electricity even in this modern era.

They were talking to local journalists here regarding the issues faced by them owing to unavailability of electricity in their village.

Located in Aka Maroof Bamikhela union council of Swat, Gut Bella is a scenic village and local tourists visit it during the summer season to enjoy natural beauty and pleasant weather.

“Our village has about 5,000 residents but we have been deprived of basic facilities including electricity,” said Imranullah, a resident of the village. He added that a power project was approved in 2002 for the village but no steps were taken to execute it.

He said that some electricity poles were also fixed and lines were installed in the village in 2002 without connecting it with the grid station.

“We live in a stone age in the 21st century. People in the rest of the world have computers and mobile phones but we do not have a bulb to switch it on in the night,” said Imranullah.

The villagers said that their village was situated in the middle of Malam Jabba and Bishbanr. They added that electricity could be provided to the village from both the areas.

They said that apart from electricity, the village was also deprived of other facilities like proper road, drinking water and basic health unit.

The villagers said that there was a dirt track to their village from Bishbanr that was constructed by an NGO. “We knocked at every door but nobody listened to us, neither our elected representatives nor the relevant department. An NGO constructed the road but it is still in bad shape,” said Shafiullah, another villager.

The villagers demanded of the government to provide electricity to their area otherwise they would take to the streets.

MNA Salimur Rehman, when contacted, said that soon his personal assistant would visit the area to collect information regarding the issues faced by the villagers. “We will address their issues,” he added.

Published in Dawn, April 8th, 2021

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