CHITRAL: The residents of Yurjogh village in Lot Koh valley have alleged that government is supporting a local leader of ruling PTI, Shahzada Amanur Rahman, in grabbing public land.

They said that the government had also approved a huge amount of Rs40 million for irrigation project on the said piece of land.

Addressing a press conference, the villagers including Wazir Khan, Mufti Israruddin, Haji Mohammad Nawaz, Sher Wali Khan and others said that the piece of land was a pasture near their village that was a public property as given in the gazette notification of 1975.

They said that the irrigation project would render their village Yurjogh vulnerable to landslide.

They added that the geological survey carried out by Focus Humanitarian Assistance, Pakistan in 2002 unambiguously suggested that the village was highly susceptible to land erosion.

The villagers said that if the barren land situated above their village was brought under cultivation, the village would be adversely affected due to the landslide and erosion, making them homeless.

They said that it was quite beyond the limits of legal authority to spend a huge amount just for one person and one household while no development project or scheme was initiated if the number of beneficiary households was less than 20.

They regretted that the deputy commissioner did nothing about their complaint except sending it to the executive engineer of irrigation department, which executed the project.

“The complaint portal of the prime minister also did nothing except forwarding it to the officer of irrigation department and it produced no effect,” said the villagers. They added that work on the site was started despite their protests.

They demanded inquiry into the land grabbing case and stern action against those, who approved the ‘illegal’ project for only one household.

ACCIDENT: One person died and four others sustained serious injuries when a car going to Timergara plunged into a ravine near Lowari tunnel on Chitral side here.

Local police identified the victim as Akbar Ali of Booni village.

The injured persons included his sister, wife and driver.

Police said the deceased was taking his sister to Peshawar after she sustained injuries in a road accident in Reshun a day earlier. The injured were admitted to Drosh hospital from where they were referred to Peshawar.

Published in Dawn, July 21st, 2021

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