CHITRAL: The glacial lake outburst flood in Golen valley has led to acute water shortage for drinking and irrigation purposes in many villages, including parts of Chitral town, due to the damaged water pipes.
The longitudinal stream running through Golen valley along with many others supplies water to Mori Payeen, Barghuzi and Kuju villages through the siphon system, while more than 4,000 houses of Chitral city get drinking water from the valley.
The acute water shortage in Chitral city had come to an end two years ago after the completion of the Rs350 million drinking water scheme by the public health engineering department.
The residents of the flood-hit Mori Payeen and Barghuzi villages said they fetched drinking water from distant villages by vehicles and the halt to water supply had caused the maize and rice crops, vegetables and fruits to wither.
Iqbal Hayat of Barghuzi said the villagers had planned to migrate due to acute water shortage along with animals, while the birds had already gone away.
He said not a single step had been taken for the rehabilitation of water supply to the villages of Barghuzi and Mori Payeen, where there was no other source of water than the pipes laid up to Golen.
The resident said all pipes were damaged by the recent flood at a length of around half a kilometre and that the laying of polyvinyl chloride pipe would take three to four days but that was not on the priority list of the government.
The residents complained that the shortage of drinking water in Denin, Jughur, Bakrabad areas of Chitral city had worsened and they had to fetch water from the river or from the distant places of Nirdet or Chitral Gol.
When contacted, executive engineer of PHED Chitral Yaqub Khan said the department’s engineers had yet to assess the damage and that funds would be sought from the government only after that happened.
District nazim Maghfirat Shah said the assessment of damage to water pipes and preparation of funds estimates could happen within hours but ironically, the relevant government departments were employing delaying tactics for the purpose.
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