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River erodes vast stretches of land in Chitral

August 31, 2012


CHITRAL, Aug 30: Hundreds of acres of land have been eroded in different villages of Chitral by the river as it is in high flood due to melting of glaciers in the upper parts of the district.

The residents of Sarghuz, Junali Koch, Reshun and Juti Lusht areas complain that their fertile lands have been eroded by the river recently and the danger is still looming large. “The danger will persist till fall of temperature and change of season,” they added.

Syed Sardar Hussain Shah, former district general secretary of Pakistan People’s Party, said that more than 60 families of Sarghuz village had migrated to safer place last year when over 1,000 acres of land was washed away by the river.

He said that no action was taken by the government despite the fact that residents of the village had gone hunger strike in January last when the river was at its lowest ebb and erecting a protection wall was possible.

Mr Shah said that the historic and scenic village at the confluence of Laspur and Mastuj valleys was exposed to flood. He feared that the village would be washed away completely during the current season if the river remained in the same high flood.

He said that same was situation in Junali Koch village, known for highest yield of rice, where one-third area was washed away by the river, rendering many people homeless.

Mr Shah held government responsible for the miseries of the residents of the two villages and said that not a single penny was utilised to erect protection wall to divert the floodwater. “All appeals of the villagers have fallen on deaf ears,” he added.

In Juti Lusht village, the river has already swept away a football ground and several houses while a grid station and a marble factory can also be in danger if the river continues to flood for a couple of days.

The residents of the village alleged that a government department erected a protection wall, approved for the area, at another place where there was no danger of erosion.