By Waseem Wasti
Khaplu, the headquarter city of District Ghanche, is considered one of the finest tourist destinations because of its natural beauty and historical places. We do not need to present shreds of evidence or instances for the promulgation of its peace as the incumbent Prime Minister, Imran Khan once openly declared that Khaplu is the only place in the world where he could sleep peacefully, with an open door.
The irony is that regardless of having such a peaceful environment, the citizens of Khapulu do not have access to the fundamental rights of quality education, drinking water, and basic health facilities, to name a few.
Khaplu is rich in glacial streams, spring water brooks, lakes, and rivers. Despite having various water resources, the city still has to face water scarcity due to a proper water supply system’s unavailability. The water and power department has not been able to resolve this problem for the last couple of decades. Several factors have contributed to the increased water crisis in khaplu, now more than ever, such as an increase in population and untrained and illiterate employees’ recruitments. Above all else, the lack of proper governmental policy and specific efforts towards allocating a substantial fund for the permanent solution of this issue is the leading caused. I think the main reason is the unawareness of this region’s people because they keep on electing non-eligible and incompetent candidates in every election. That is why these members cannot raise fundamental issues on the assembly floor. The people have no choice left despite criticizing and repenting on their decisions up to the next election unlikely, and they, unfortunately, repeat the same mistakes.
In the last election, two federal ministers visited khaplu and delivered a speech at the main Bazar Chowk. They stayed for more than three or four days for the election campaign. The irony is that none of the ruling party members had dared to put this issue in front of federal ministers. The problem would have resolved if they had requested to release funds for this project.
After Imran khan’s Government came into power, the people expected some changes in this neglected area. After looking at Pakistan’s current situation, especially the increasing inflation rate, we should not expect any new project from Khan’s Government. But we can demand to bring some changes in governmental institutions, especially the water and power department.
In order to promote tourism industry, khan’s government will have to take some bold steps starting from constructing new water tanks in every village, cutting off privileged supply lines to the bourgeois to discourage nepotism.
Government should ensure the distribution of water supply in an equitable manner. Like in Skardu, every citizen is allowed to apply for one pipeline only for their houses. District administration Ghanche should implement the same terms and conditions in Khaplu. In order to overcome the water shortage in Khaplu, the Government, in collaboration with the district administration, needs to work sincerely on this issue rather than criticizing the previous government policies and discrepancies. The current impractical attitude and the adoption of rhetorical excuses do not seem to be the solution to this most critical issue of the people of Khaplu. The public frustration is increasing, and one can easily predict that the improper channeling of such frustrations can lead to untoward incidents or at least make them vulnerable to such accidents. The people of Khaplu can now only urge the authorities to solve the issue and liberate them from the ordeal of fetching water from water sources miles away in buckets and pots as if they were living in the 19th century. The proper implementation of the proposed greater water supply scheme of Khaplu, which is constructing a colossal water tank capable of fulfilling the entire populace’s needs, seems the only pragmatic and prudent solution.