CHITRAL: The residents of the newly-created Upper Chitral district have supported a proposal to establish the district headquarters at the Qaqlashtsht.
Presently, Booni town has been made the makeshift district headquarters of Upper Chitral.
Hameedur Rahman Lal of Reshun said the proposed site was situated on the confluence of three valleys, Mulkow, Torkhow and Biyar, and was presently uninhabited for want of water as it was situated at a greater height from the Mulkhow and Biyar rivers.
He suggested that solar-powered and electric water pumps should be used to bring water from the rivers, saying a hydropower generation and irrigation project was soon going to be started in Terich valley, which would provide the proposed district headquarters with abundant water, satiating its needs for drinking and irrigation.
Rahman Lal noted that the government won’t have to pay a single penny for acquisition of land because Qaqlasht was a state-owned property.
Bashir Hussain Azad, a social worker, said there was no better use of the Qaqlasht land than making it the district headquarters, which was also the demand of the local people as it would become a centre for the people coming from the remote valleys of Baroghil, Yarkhun, Terich, Oveer and Torkhow.
District nazim Maghfirat Shah said it would be a modern city second only to Islamabad provided it was built on the principles of modern town planning. He said due to the proximity of the area to the Central Asian state of Tajikistan, Qalasht would become a hub for contact with the neighbouring state because a flight taking off from here would take about half-an-hour to touch down on the Dushanbe airport.
Mr Shah said the new city would be a great attraction for tourists due to its unique location in the foothold of Hindukush mountains with a panoramic view of more than 100 peaks. He said due to the climate change phenomenon, a number of villages in upper Chitral were prone to natural disasters, but a district headquarters in Qaqlasht could provide accommodation to thousands of affected families on a permanent basis.
The district nazim warned that if the project was executed without proper planning it would prove ruinous for the area and a sheer wastage of vast space.
District development advisory committee chairman Wazirzada, when contacted, said he had already sent a proposal to the government for preparing a master plan for building the district headquarters of Upper Chitral.
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