Once again, the Gorakh Hill issue is being focused on in the news. Protesters are up against large-scale corruption and lack of facilities there. Located at a distance of 94 kilometers from the district headquarters in Dadu, and 5,688 feet above sea level, this is the coolest place in Sindh. The protestors are demanding for work that needs to be done on the road leading to Gorakh, especially at the most dangerous point of the Khawal Pass. There is no availability of safe drinking water. Dispensaries and other facilities are required urgently. However, a section of Johi's population is doubtful of the motive of the leaders as well as the protesters. If there had been any sincerity in the protesters, the issue of availability of water, at least, might have been solved by now. If the officials pocket 20 or 30 percent, 40 or 50 percent goes to the protesters.
Since 1952, the government has attempted to develop this area as a tourist resort, but due to a host of reasons this project never materialised. The PPP government of Benazir Bhutto tired to complete this project but her tenure was cut short. The previous PPP government, under President Zardari, was in a strong position to complete the Gorakh project but it kept dragging it. Now, when the project has finally started taking off, all hell has broken loose. The local people are the main stakeholders and the Gorakh development authority has not included their input in the development.
At the same time, it is the responsibility of the sincere segment of the residents of Johi to come forward and thwart the malicious designs of protesters. The tourists, mountaineers, trekkers and general public are all eager to flock to this hill station. Therefore, there is a need to develop this site as soon as possible.
GULSHER PANHWER,
Johi, October 8.