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CHITRAL: The affectees of the October 26 earthquake on Friday staged a protest against the apathy of the federal and provincial governments and blocked the Mastuj Road for traffic to voice their anger.

The residents of Charun Oweer village staged the protest and complained that they had been left with no option but to come on roads to voice protest.

They said rain and snowfall continued to lash parts of the district, plunging the mercury to 5 Celsius. “It is almost impossible to live in tents in the chilly weather, which is getting colder day by day,” said a protester.

The remote mountainous district has been receiving rain and snowfall for the last two days, compounding the woes of the affected families living in tents in the chilly weather. A social worker from Mastuj sub-division of Chitral and former tehsil nazim, Shehzada Sikandarul Mulk, told The News by telephone that the rain and snowfall had made life miserable for the affectees.

He said the earthquake destroyed and damaged almost all the houses in Laspur and Bilam areas, rendering about 800 families homeless. The resident said that the families lacked basic provision for life and had been forced to live in tents in the freezing cold.

He said the Dir-Chitral road had been closed due to snowfall at Lowari Top. “The closure of the lone road has led to scarcity of daily use items. It has resulted in increase in the prices of flour and other items,” he added.

The distressed resident said that the price of a 40 kilogram flour bag had jumped to Rs2,000.The affectees asked the government to give them assistance in cash so they could temporarily shift to safer areas. (The News)

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