SWAT

Almost three years has passed since the natural disaster in the shape of floods badly hit Swat Valley and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, destroying the whole infrastructure of the valley, but the region is still in a shambles.

No rehabilitation process and development activities have been started yet. On July 28, 2010, the dangerous floods proved very dangerous for the regions, killing 60 people and injuring more than 200 others. Infrastructure of the valley was already affected by military operation and the flood had further deteriorated the condition. This was the worst flood in the history of Swat. It completely washed away the main road from Kalam to Madyan which is about 36 kilometres long.

Almost 200,000 people were affected by the floods, and 15 main bridges were destroyed and more than 1,700 houses swept away in the floodwater. Flood destroyed hotels, restaurants, houses and roads in Kalam, Madyan, Bahrain and cut it off from the rest of the country. At that time, people in these areas faced acute shortage of food, drinkable water, petroleum reserves and medicines and authorities were facing a daunting task to send these things to the worst affected areas.

Electricity to Kalam and its upper region has been cut off for the last 3 years. Some of the Kalam areas are still deprived of basic needs of life. Floods had also affected vegetables, fruits and its production areas of district Swat. Communication system was badly affected and people were feeling at that time that life had ended in these areas. Meanwhile, the federal and provincial governments remained failed to rebuild the most beautiful valley of Asia which is often called paradise on the earth by the foreigners.

The authorities concerned are still silent on this big issue as the electricity facility has not been restored to Kalam and its adjacent areas amidst absence of communication system. Pak Army which never left Swat in the lurch established with the cooperation of the UAE government steel bridges and reopened the road for traffic on temporary basis. However, the Matta, Ayub bridges and Mingora main bridge has still not been rehabilitated.

The main income of the people of Swat is tourism and the locals invest their huge amount on tourism side to gain income and feed their families but the main hurdle in the tourists’ way is Kalam Road which is still in dilapidated condition.

When contacted, MPA Syed Jafar Shah who won the PK-85 seat for second time said that after the floods he had been working hard to rebuild everything in a modern way. He further said that during ANP era in the KPK, he got Rs140 million approved for the road and the then government also signed an MOU worth Rs2.5 billion with Asian development Bank for Kalam Road. The people linked with tourism, tourists and the residents of Upper Swat appealed to the federal and provincial governments to pay heed to their problems.