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18 February 2020

Residents of Booni protest against corruption

Protest against corruption in Booni, Chitral

Chitral— Residents of Booni arranged a sit-in protest against embezzlement of millions of rupees in Communication and Works Department (C &W), Irrigation, Public Health Engineering and Sarhad Hydro Development Organization (SHYDO).

Addressing to protest sit-in, speakers expressed their concern about misappropriation of millions of rupees by public departments. They said that, in documents, C&W department has shown Mastuj and Torkho road as being blacktop. In reality, the road still remains dilapidated with several ditches all along.

Similar condition, they said, is witnessed of irrigation channels. But the Irrigation Department shows million rupees expenditure in papers. People of Booni faced great loss from 2002 to 2008 due to damaging irrigation channel and were never compensated.

They said that a Truckable bridge had started a few years back and the department had assured at that time that the bridge will be completed within 6 months. The bridge remains under construction.

They said that some 7.5 million rupees have been spent on water supply scheme in 1990 by Public Health Engineering department at Raeen village but there is not a singe pipeline and people still wander for potable drinking water. They said that C&W department has procured land for road. They neither construct road nor do they allow people to cultivate it. The compensation for the land has not been paid.

They also lamented poor performance of SHYDO department which has left large number of people without electricity.

They demanded from the provincial government to conduct an inquiry into funds embezzlement and corruption of these departments. They warned of widespread protests if the provincial government does not take action. The protesters also asked authorities to transfer Mr. Muhammad Shoib Jadoon, Deputy Commissioner of Chitral, whose behaviour, they think is disdainful towards the people of Chitral.   

Those who spoke on the occasion were Rahmat Salam Lal, Ghulam Muhayuddin, Abdul Rehman, Meraj Hussain, Abdul Samad, Saifullah, Mukhtar Ahmad, Maulana Kifayatullah, Sardar Hakeem, Shah Jang Azeem, Qazi Jamaluddin, Shah Ahmad Hussain, Hussain Zareen, Parvez Ahmad Lal and Retired Manager Sarfaraz Ali. People belonging to Mastuj, Booni, Torkho, Mulko and Chwench were thre in the sit-in. It was complete shutter down strike and Booni Bazar was closed completely.

G.H.Farooqui has contributed to this story from Chitral, Pakistan