CHITRAL-About a month after the avalanche buried nine people alive, leaving scores of others injured and homeless, Shershal still presents the look of a ghost village in the Karimabad valley of Chitral.

At the south of the village, a huge avalanche had piled up on the road cutting it off from the rest of the world. After the calamity, government and civil society members visited the area and relief items were distributed to the affected people. However, the government did not send machinery to open the only road to the village blocked by the avalanche.

The elected members of the area arranged local laborers to remove the snow and got the road open. The tehsil administration had promised that wages would be paid to all those who had worked to open the road after removing the snow.

The removal of the snow from the road is the responsibility of the local administration as it possessed machinery such as tractors etc., but the laborers opened the road manually after 20 days and should be paid for the work, Member of the tehsil council from Beshgram valley Muhammad Ali Shah said.

Janu Khan, a resident of the village, said that the road to the area was very dangerous and the possibility of any fatal accident cannot be ruled out. He said the Chitral Scouts had delivered some basic medicines at the village but no government or private sector organisation took any step for providing healthcare facilities for the people.

Muslima Bibi of the village said that in the winters, the area remains cut-off and the road blocked due to snowfall. In such a situation, when someone gets ill, they are carried on cot (shoulders) to any health centre out of the village. One woman patient recently died on the road when she was being taken to a hospital by the local people, she added.

Shaheena Bibi said as the village had no middle or high school, the residents send their children to schools located out of the village. Until their return from schools every day, the parents remain worried about their well-being as the road is very dangerous, she added.

The area people said that besides clearing the road of avalanches, it should also be widened to avoid any fatal accidents in future. They said that the government should also open middle and high schools besides healthcare centres in the village.