By Gul Hammad Farooqi
CHITRAL: As the fear of the people of Chitral rises due to the spike in coronavirus cases in the Hindu Kush mountainous region, so does the anxiety of the Tehsil Municipal Administration (TMA) staffers who have not yet been paid their salaries for the last three months.
The TMA officials are performing duty in a very tense situation on the frontline since the outbreak of coronavirus in Chitral to protect the people from the disease. The TMA has been assigned the responsibility of spraying disinfectants from Lowari Tunnel to Chitral and Drosh quarantine centres, public places, mosques, hospitals and bazaars. They are also looking after the sanitation of these places.
The Rescue 1122 and TMA staff have also distributed sanitizers and gloves among the people to protect them from the virus. Under the supervision of Tehsil Municipal Officer (TMO) Misbahuddin, the TMA official has also placed water tanks and soaps at Lowari Tunnel, Bradam, Drosh and other areas so that people could wash their hands and remain safe from the disease and also keep others safe. The only prevention from COVID-19 is ensuring cleanliness and social distancing and the TMA staff is working tirelessly to make sure that the situation remains under control.
The TMO told this scribe that his staff members work the whole day and also go to the quarantine centres for cleaning and spray. He said the TMA officials are at great risk of contracting the virus as they are exposed to a dangerous situation.
He said the TMA officials are performing the difficult job during coronavirus lockdown and they always remain vulnerable to the disease, but still, they are not paid salaries for the last three months.
The TMO said about 150 members of the staff have not been paid salaries and they have no money to buy ration for their family during the holy month of Ramazan.
They demanded the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa government to ensure payment of three-month salary to them so that they could arrange proper food for their families during Ramazan and new clothes for children for Eid.