Gul Hamaad Farooqi
Chitral, August 27, 2013: The land-locked Kalash valley is facing acute shortage of essential items as Communication & Works (C&W) department has failed to restore the main road which was flooded during the Holy month of Ramadan. Local commuters, especially women, children and patients, are crossing a one kilometer long difficult mountainous track on foot.
Transportrs on both sides of the block have started charging extra fare from the passengers. Local people have been forced to pay 500 rupees to transport 40 kg of food and other essential goods on donkeys. The local labors are charging 300 rupees per trip to carry the luggage of commuters. This has increased more than threefold the price of all edible items; the commodity sold for e
50 rupees per kilogram are now available for 200-300 rupees. There is also acute shortage of life saving drugs and the only Basic health unit at Bumborat, functioning under Red Crescent Society, is also facing difficulties in timely supplies.
Talking to this scribe, the commuters blamed Communication & Works (C&W) department for their late and slow response. Subadar (Rtd) retired Rahmat Ayub said that we are now facing starvation as the prices of grains and flour is not in our reach.
The road blockade has also badly impacted the already troubled tourism industry as the tourists have no access to the valley. The local community could not properly celebrate the local religious festival Ochal due to lack of food and non food supplies.
The local community has demanded of the Government to immediately reconstruct the damaged road and restore vehicular traffic in order to end the month long miseries of the people.