I am one of the most immediate stakeholders of the government initiative that is called “Qaqlasht Housing Scheme”. Through your esteemed news paper, I would like to extend my highest appreciations to the government for its efforts in improving the well-being of the people of our province, our district and ultimately our nation. I don’t want to sound negative to your readers, public leaders and government authorities, but in my professional view the Qaqlash Housing Scheme is highly ill conceived and is not a good priority or even sustainable project for the area, the province and the nation. The reasons are numerous, and here are a few listed:
1) Qaqlasht is a lowland safe grazing ground. Floods in the areas are mostly caused by over-grazing and destruction of plantations on highlands. If Qaqlasht is converted into housing all the burden of grazing will shift to the high areas, further causing and perpetuating flooding and disasters. This is too serious but often ignored consideration.
2) All people of Chitral have their own lands and houses and they don’t need to spend millions of rupees on new houses – they need these millions to educate their children.
3) Qaqlasht housing will cause a disaster for the Chitral river and an environmental disaster at the root of the river will create further disaster downstream for the whole river chains.
4) Qaqlasht is also serving the purpose of a public and family park and this status of Qaqlasht needs to be enhanced for the benefit of the public and the tourists.
5) The flood affected people – they need our utmost sympathies and support – they may prefer help to recover their lands from the flooded areas, instead of abandoning their ancestral homes, indeed with great care. The ill conceived Qaqlasht housing scheme was announced prior to the floods and irrespective of the flood affected families.
6) The government can better shift the allocated resources to controlling the river Chitral – please see my proposal on the initial project idea – http://www.slideshare.net/tariqullahkhan/chitral-developmentproject-22234675
With my warm regards, readers are most welcomed to contact me at: tariqullahkhan.me
Dr Tariqullah Khan