By Muhammad Nazir Khan
More than 75 years have passed, but the backwardness of Hatoon, the second largest village in the Ghizar district, doesn’t seem to end. Roads aren’t constructed, bridges aren’t there, health facilities are unavailable, and even no clean drinking water is found. The reality is even more gloomy and depressing.
It should be noticed that this village is a significant part of the constituency of two famous politicians of Gilgit-Baltistan, the late Pir Karam Ali Shah( former governor of G.B) and famous nationalist leader Nawaz Khan Naji. Both of them have, many times, been elected by the inhabitants of this village, and even one of them reached governorship( the highest political position in the region) but the people of the village are still deprived of basic facilities and minimum living standards.
I have repeatedly been raising my voice for the unlucky Hatoons on different platforms, i.e., writing articles, in local newspapers, on social media, and addressing the issue in different gatherings, but unfortunately, nothing is changed instead picture is becoming more and more melancholic.
Despite being surrounded by two rivers, the dwellers of the village yearn for drinking water. There is only one water channel, streams from 9 miles away, but the dwellers of the lower part of the village have no right to use its water in the daytime. Even the water of this channel is soiled and contaminated as it carries a lot of dirty clothes, shoes, and garbage from upper Hatoon valley. Therefore, the villagers are compelled to store water in the tanks for months to use in daily life activities and for drinking. Fresh water is also a distant dream, but they keep it as a second priority because stored water is at least better than No Water.
It is also worth mentioning that, For a few years, thanks to the BASIP, there has been an adorable water supply project the BASIP-community co-operation based. So that, the people of the village could get water twice a day – like medicine –
Secondly, one of our good-natured friends and famous businessman, Haji Himmatwali, ( The owner of Habibi Electric company) has made a limited but admirable arrangement of drinking water for the local community by borewell water. but the issue of lack of water for the sustenance of the lands still remains. In this regard, the precious project “Batoli Water Channel” granted by AFAD is also in its completion stages. Even though the project was supposed to be completed in 2021, for some unforeseen reasons, it has not yet been completed.
Therefore, local Journalists and activists are requested to highlight our problems, and the representatives should fulfill their promises.
A special request is made to the Chief Secretary of Gilgit Baltistan to personally look into this game-changing project.
The contributor is a Phd scholar based in Turkey.