By Syed Sajjad Shah
Chitral has been declared a natural disaster zone by government of Pakistan since 1975. After three years, in 1978, because of global warming Chitral, particularly subdivision Mastuj , came under an enormous disaster entirely. The areas of Mastuj were hit by substantial downpours, which brought about disastrous surges and washed away several homes; no less than hundred million dollars of rich fields and lands of people were changed over into barrens. The rain had reached right around 200 millimeters in just three days and influenced villages along Chuinj, Ghoru, Chinar and Hazrat Abad (Toq) Mastuj. The catastrophe took cataclysmic turn when Pasum Gol and Shagul Gol from both side blocked Yarkhun River because of which Yarkhunogh changed over into a big dam and decimated Chuinj Bridge alongside lands. Following 12 hours when the dam broke because of the pressure of water then my home went under an enormous mudslide alongside my fields and I got to be distinctly destitute and shifted into an old godown. However, in 2005 I built my home again. I planted trees and ploughed barren fields to populate my land again and by the grace of Allah I did it but, the risk of floods is still there. No precautionary steps have been taken yet by government.
Later on, in 2016 again torrential rains resulted in flash floods and destroyed all infrastructures; roads, standing crops, electric poles and agricultural lands of Chitral and at least 60 people were died and many others went missing. That time, to some extent Government provided health, food, shelter and other basic needs to affected people and different rescue activities had been carried out by Pak Army and Chitral levies (appreciated) but, no one bothered to come here (Mastuj) to help us. The whole area particularly Hazrat Abad (Toq) was under the awash of Yarkhunogh. However, we worked hard with self-assistance and changed the face of water providentially. Khuda na kary, if next time such havoc came, it will be too hard for us to protect ourselves.
There is another big issue which i want to bring the foresight of concern leadership in regard to the protection of Mastuj Bridge; which was poorly build few years before under corrupt project managers and surely the rebel flood can any time carry the bridge and the adjacent field away with itself. Now to build a protection wall to its safety is a need of hour to bring about justice with the government money.
So, what do I want to say is that government should notice these dangerous zones and provide us infrastructure projects particularly near power house (Toq) to protect our homes and lands from the relentless waves of Yarkhunogh. Through media I do want to convey my message to Maulana Abdul Akbar Chitrali (MNA) sahib, Hidayat ur Rehman (MPA) sahib and Janab Wazir Zada (MPA) sahib and want to aware them that Mastuj (Toq) is also a part of Chitral. Her negligence is totally injustice. So, please take a positive move and bring infrastructure projects for us and protect our homes along Mastuj Bridge. We, the people of Hazrat Abad (Toq) shall be very thankful to you.
By Syed Sajjad Shah