CHITRAL-Led by the local elected representatives, hundreds of victims of flood and earthquake from Yarkhun Lasht Valley protested against the provincial government and the district administration over the unavailability of basic facilities particularly healthcare.

A protest meeting under the chair of District Council member Rahmat Wali was held at Yarkhun Lasht valley. The speakers said that the valley was affected by tremendous flood in July and September 2015 and later hit by earthquake on October 26, 2015 but no survey team visited the area nor the people were compensated.

They said that the time and again, they submitted applications to the deputy commissioner and the assistant commissioner who assured them that Tehsildar will visit the area but Tehsildar Nooruddin refused to visit the valley for the assessment of the loss.

They added a woman died two days back due to unavailability of health facility. Two people had earlier died at Broghul Valley due to blockade of main road after heavy snowfall as there is no hospital situation in Broghul Valley.

On the occasion, Council Nazim Ameen Jan Tajik said that hundreds of cattle had died due to shortage of food and blockade of the main road. Customers could not reach from Gilgit Baltistan to purchase cattle from Broghul thus the local people are dying of hunger, he said.

He said that there is no road leading to the valley and they purchase one kilogramme of sugar at Rs120 which is selling at Rs65 at Chitral Town. Similarly, they are compelled to purchase a bag of cement at Rs1,050 which is selling at Rs480 at Peshawar.

He said that the government and district admin were ignoring them continuously and the people were still living of stone-age life. The village lacks the facilities of hospital, high school, veterinary centre, communication network and even primary school for girls. Thus, the girls are forced to get education along with boys, he said.

MPA Syed Sardar Hussain said that Communication and Works (C&W) Department released a fund of Rs160 million to a construction company but it did not repair the road and he demanded for conducting of inquiry in this regard.

The other speakers said that there is no electricity in the whole valley except mini hydro power houses set up by non-profit organisations. They demanded the federal, provincial governments of early construction of the main road, establishment of colleges, a Utility Store, a Basic Health Unit, provision of electricity and installing of telephone service to connect the backward and remote area with other parts of Chitral and the country.  They also demanded conducting of neutral inquiry into the distribution of compensation cheques of Prime Minister fund to the people. They said that the cheques were issued to influential people by ignoring the deserving and affected people. Giving a deadline of 20 days, they warned that if their genuine demands were not fulfilled they will come on the roads once again with violent protest.