By Hamid Khan Wazir
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan: The dwellers of Shakai tehsil, South Waziristan district, have given seven days deadline to the concerned quarters to start construction work on the long-delayed Shakai Dam sans any further delay.
The people from all walks of life gathered in large numbers in the scenic to press the concerned authorities to start the work on the much-needed Shakai Dam, which was put in the back burner.
The delayed of the Shakai Dam worth Rs 676.143 million irked the inhabitants of the area, which was launched some four years ago but since long no construction work has been done.
They took a protest rally in the bazaar wherein protestors holding banners and placards inscribed with slogans demanding the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government and the contractor to complete the fate-changing project of the valley.
All tribes of the valley participated in the protest demo and warned that they would not tolerate any further delay of the project.
The educated youths of Shakai organized the protest demo, which was participated by tribal elders, religious scholars, and local leadership of various political parties.
It is pertinent to mention here that the construction work on the Shakai Dam is being delayed due to various excuses; however, the authorities concerned did not pay any attention in this regard.
Speaking on the occasion, the participants said that they would accept no excuse for delaying the much-needed project.
They said that the concerned departments have been given seven days to take some tangible steps to restart the long-delayed work otherwise they would extend their protest demos to other parts of the country including Peshawar and Islamabad.
The speakers were of the view that during the last over 70 years, it was the only main project which was initiated in the scenic valley; however, unfortunately, the important project has been delayed unnecessarily.
They demanded the elected representatives to South Waziristan ensure the completion of the project.
They were of the view that no change in the model of the dam would be accepted and stressed that the dam should be constructed as per the approved design.
Maulana Naimatullah, Dr. Maulana Abdul Samad, Samiullah, Din Muhammad Wazir, Maulana Shoukatullah, Inam Jan Sperkai, Haji Noor and Rai Khan Sperkai were among the prominent speakers who addressed on the occasion.
They said that the project is of paramount importance and they would raise the voice at every forum to ensure its completion.
The long-neglected Shakai, with a population of around 70,000, is one of the most picturesque valleys in the country, located some 33 km north of Wana, headquarter of South Waziristan.
The project, with a storage capacity of 1,193 AF of water, which would be irrigated 900 acres of agricultural land on the left bank of the main Shakai stream.
Only 462 acres of land is currently under cultivation, which is mainly dependent on the rain, it was reported.
The dam would have a storage tank of about 0.096 million gallons to supply drinking water to 3,200 people, where no drinking water supply exists and people have to bring water from distant places.
Moreover, the construction of Shakai Dam would ensure the purposeful and effective use of the available water, which would help reduce the intensity of floods by storing water, besides irrigating agricultural land, facilitating socio-economic uplift of the area by alleviating poverty in the area.