Villagers claim of a shortage of wheat

GILGIT: Villagers in the Ghizer area have complained of a shortage of wheat and are urging authorities to take action before the matter gets worse.

“We have been facing an acute shortage of grain since July this year, but the authorities have turned a deaf ear to our plight,” Mohammad Akram Shah, a resident of Phandar said on Sunday.

He said apart from his village, Tairoo was also suffering from a shortage of wheat with torrential floods having swept away the standing crops and fruits. Most of the locals in the valley depend on farming and agriculture for their sustenance and incomes. He warned that the situation could turn ugly if immediate attention wasn’t paid to the issue as winter was setting in and snow was expected in December, blocking off roads for traffic.

“Once it starts snowing in the area, roads will get blocked and we will be left with insufficient stock to keep us going through the winter,” he said and added that the villagers would march to Gilgit if the government did not see to this matter.

He said that the lack of wheat is affecting thousands of people in both the villages.

An official in the Civil Supply Department said that a sufficient stock of wheat has already been transported to almost all the highland villages of Gilgit-Baltistan and this news of a shortage is untrue.

Published in The Express Tribune, November 29th, 2010.

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