LAKKI MARWAT - Two people were injured in a rain related incident while heavy downpour coupled with hailstorm played havoc in several rural localities of the district on the night of Sunday.
According to reports, heavy rains coupled with hailstorm hit Zangikhel, Badnikhel, Dhoda, Ahmadkhel, Shaikh Khula, Masha Mansoor and other rural localities, causing damages to standing crops. The rain also caused flood in watercourses and turned the streets and links roads into ponds, disconnecting road links of villages with the urban localities of the district.
Villagers said that rural localities wore a white blanket as hailstorm continued for one hour. They said that gram crop buried under hails and the calamity also destroyed orchards and other crops like wheat in the villages and hamlets.
"Residents stuck in their house while those coming back to their villages from Lakki city in public transport faced numerous problems," they maintained. They said that villagers also faced hardships to remove heaps of hails from the roofs of their mud and brick made houses.
In Zangikhel village, a local leader of JUI (Nazryati) Maulana Abdul Latif Usmani and his son Ihtesham were wounded when a roof caved in as a result of heavy rains. They were taken to a private hospital for medical treatment.
A local PTI leader Farman of Zangikhel village told this correspondent that the residents of rural localities did not witness hailstorm with such intensity in the last several decades. He told that the calamity destroyed the wheat and gram crops incurring huge looses on local farmers.
"Rain and hailstorm also destroyed the yearlong labour of farmers who grow wheat or gram crop once in a year as the entire area is rain fed (Barani)," he maintained.
Meanwhile, Additional Deputy Commissioner Ihsanullah Khan along with a team of revenue officials visited the rain and hailstorm hit localities to assess the losses and damages. The ADC met with affected people and elders and assured them that a comprehensive report of losses would be sent to the concerned higher quarters of provincial government for early compensation.
Local leaders of Tehrik Tahaffuz Haqooq-e-Marwat, including Johar Muhammad Khan, Haji Zarwali Khan and Haji Mohibullah have demanded of the provincial government to declare the affected rural localities as calamity-hit and direct quarters concerned for provision of immediate relief to the affected people.
During a visit to the affected areas, they expressed deep sorrow over the losses caused by rain and hailstorm. The TTHM leaders asked MNA Col (Retd) Ameerullah Khan Marwat to approach quarters concerned of provincial and federal governments to declare the area as calamity-hit and approve a relief package for affected villagers.
Former federal minister Salim Saifullah Khan and former MNA Humayun Saifullah have also asked the bigwigs of provincial government to write off abyana and other taxes and assist farmers in rehabilitation process.
In a joint statement, they said that they would not let the affected villagers alone in the time of distress and would stood shoulder by shoulder with them for ensuring their rehabilitation forthwith.
They asked the officials of local administration to send staffers of revenue and other departments to the affected villages for preparation of a detailed report of losses.