Chitral: According to news sources, the residents of Yurjogh have asked the government to abandon the irrigation department’s under-construction siphon irrigation plan, which they say poses a threat to their community.

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Wazir Khan, Mufti Israruddin, Wali Jan, Gul Ahmed Shah, Nawaz Khan, Abdul Khan, and others, speaking at a press conference here on Tuesday, said that their village had already been declared highly susceptible to the natural hazard of land erosion and that the irrigation scheme passing through its laterally would endanger it.

They claimed the Rs30 million initiative was intended to bring the grassland adjacent to their village under cultivation for the benefit of an influential individual and a local official of the ruling PTI.

The villagers claimed that, as is customary, the environmental impact of large projects is thoroughly evaluated before they are implemented to ensure that they do not result in environmental calamity. They claimed that while the scheme should assist a huge number of people, all norms and formalities were neglected in the current case for the purpose of the PTI leader.

They claimed that in 2002, Focus Humanitarian Assistance Pakistan conducted a geological assessment of the hamlet and published a report recommending that irrigation efforts be reduced to the bare minimum because the village’s soil surface was slick and may cause widespread erosion.

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The residents asked that the chief minister investigate the incident and hold the bureaucrats accountable for sanctioning a project that benefited only one person at the expense of a community with over 100 houses.

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