CHITRAL, Sept 30: While the civic agency responsible to take action against polluters has failed to discharge its responsibilities, River Chitral is being used as a dumping ground by people living along its sides.
Environment activists say the local government is least bothered to discharge its municipal duties and has no solid waste disposal strategy and exercises no control over those causing pollution.
Haider Ali, a conservationist working with an NGO, said the river was contaminated by human, solid and industrial wastes. He said in the recent past a large number of motor workshops and motor washing stations have been opened on both sides of the river whose effluent is directly drained into the river.
He termed the effluents of motor workshops extremely hazardous and said that many of them are toxic in nature and insoluble in water. None of the motor mechanics have bothered to make arrangement for the wastes of workshop and this practice goes unchecked.
The animal wastes of the slaughterhouse run by the tehsil municipal administration Chitral is also directed into the river situated on Booni road which renders the whole environment stinking during the summer season.
The conservationist said that in utter violation of municipal rules, all the owners of the buildings along the riverside have directed the sewage lines to the river instead of digging a septic pit for it. He said that the sewage of the nearby houses is also drained into the river as there is no proper sewerage system in the city. He said that the hotel owners and shop keepers of the bazaar use no place to dump their effluents other than the river and they do it without any hindrance of fear of law.
He observed that the highly contaminated water of rive has adversely affected the aquatic life in the river flowing below the town as the population of local species of fish and other fresh water biology have been recorded on lowest density.
Mr. Ali said that there is no check over the construction along the river bank which poses yet another type of threat to the river. He proposed sensitization of the local population to the problem and strict implementation of the municipal regulations regarding construction along the river and disposal of solid waste.–Zahiruddin