Baghlan river banks grabbed by influential
PUL-I-KHUMRI (Pajhwok): Officials and residents of northern Baghlan province on Thursday alleged powerful men have grabbed banks of Baladori River to construct residential compounds amid complaints by locals that the move would leave far-reaching impact on irrigation system.
Baladroi River is a tributary of Baghlan River that irrigates over 50,000 acres of agricultural land in Dand-e-Shahabuddin locality of Pul-i-Khumri and provides drinking water to over 20,000 families.
During the last five years, houses have been built on the banks of the river. Eng. Mohammad Naeem Nawabi, northeast river zone head, said his directorate tried to open flow of water to the stream but failed.
He told Pajhwok Afghan News more than 180 individuals had built houses or walls along the river in contravention of municipality and water management rules.
He recalled during Dr. Najib’s government river zone directorate had a police unit that prevented such constructions along the rivers. Now, he regretted, the government could not stop powerful people from illegal constructions.
He said police and the municipality had been weak in taking proper measures against the builders.
Pul-i-Khumri Mayor Mohammad Safar said those who have partially blocked the flow of water inside the city were powerful men and without intervening of high-ranking government officials they were unable to take steps against them.
He mentioned two judges and two local commanders without identifying them.
Jawed Basharat, police spokesman, said the river zone directorate and the municipality should bring list of powerful men and police would take action accordingly. “This is weakness by the authorities’ concerned to ameliorate the situation.”
Mohammad Amin, a farmer in Zaman Khail village, said earlier he used to collect better crops but now due to lack of water his harvest has been affected.
He complained in the last five years the houses have blocked the flow of water, which affected him and other farmers.
Haji Miakhail, a resident of Hussein Khail village, said: “The water has been contaminated because most of the houses have directed their wastes to the river.”
He had complained to local authorities many times but to no avail.
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