Saturday June 15, 2024

Non-construction of housing scheme: Earthquake victims threaten to launch agitation

By Our Correspondent
November 20, 2023
A general view of a residential area of Rawalpindi. — AFP/File
A general view of a residential area of Rawalpindi. — AFP/File

MANSEHRA: The local government representatives, traders and residents of Balakot on Sunday threatened to boycott the upcoming general elections if survivor families of the 2005 earthquake were not allotted plots at the New Balakot City Housing Project.

“Over 18 years have passed since the 2005 devastating earthquake, and we are still living miserable lives in makeshift houses,” Garlat Neighbourhood Council Chairman Mohammad Maroof Awan told a gathering.

The people from the red zone, Balakot and Garlat, attended the meeting and decided to launch a street agitation if their demands were not met.

“The successive governments of different political parties have failed to build the New Balakot City Housing Project 18 years after the devastating earthquake,” Awan said. A number of local government representatives and political activists were also present on the occasion.

He said that they were optimistic their civic issues would be settled after the local government’s elections some two years ago. “But now it seemed as a futile exercise as not a single penny could be released by the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government to tehsil, village and neighbourhood councils as yet,” he added.

Speaking on the occasion, the Tehsil head of Jamaat-i-Islami, Fazlur Rehman said that the Earthquake Reconstruction and Rehabilitation Authority and Provincial Reconstruction and Rehabilitation Authority had failed to settle issues hampering the execution of the Rs13 billion housing project, meant for the settlement of survivors’ families of red zone.