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Balakot: Still a long way from recovering from the 2005 earthquake

Balakot: Still a long way from recovering from the 2005 earthquake

More than 11 years have passed since one of the most deadliest earthquakes in the history of Pakistan struck Mansehra’s beautiful town of Balakot in 2005 killing and displacing countless people.

Almost 80 per cent of the houses and other buildings were destroyed in the 2005 earthquake. With the help of Saudi Arabia, the government of Pakistan constructed shelter homes for the displaced earthquake victims of Balakot.

But no further measures were taken to improve their lives. With no activity to develop Balakot, many of the residents have complained about the indolence coming from the local government and other concerned departments.

Politician Syed Ahmad Shah said that various international donors came to Pakistan to help and aid Balakot residents because they could see how the earthquake destroyed everything there. “However, there was no importance given to Balakot at all.”

International donor agencies have donated millions of dollars to help provide victims necessary assistance in order to resume their lives. However, just by looking at basic infrastructure such as the route to Balakot, one can have an idea of the ground progress. With no proper roads, or properly constructed bridges the residents are disappointed over the poor condition of their roads.

Junaid Qasim, who was nazim of Balakot in 2009 said that various people from different local government departments have implemented useless projects that have failed to improve and develop Balakot. Instead, he said these projects have cost the government hundreds of millions of money without benefiting the people.

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