HUNZA-NAGAR, March 6: People in Attabad village in Hunza have been struck by panic as the mountain beside the settlement is shearing off, with wide cracks developing fast.
The villagers said boulders and debris rolling down the slope could block the water flow in Hunza River, causing the danger of floods that would threaten the village.
Such a situation could also destroy the communication infra structure, as raging torrents could wash away a large portion of the Karakoram Highway.
Experts have suggested relocation of the village to some alternative area, as living in such a hazard-prone environment could result in disaster anytime.
Atabad Union Council Member Hadi Hussain has threatened to observe hunger strike in front of the office of Assistant Commissioner Hunza, if immediate action was not taken to save the villagers.
According to him, minor cracks first appeared in February 2003, which became larger with the passage of time. He accused the local administration of not responding accordingly to save the life and livelihood of about a hundred households that are at great risk. Mr Hussain said the cracks had also extensively damaged dozens of houses, around 25 of which were in great danger.
The Northern Areas chief secretary had once announced to settle the villagers at an alternative place, but the commitment was yet to materialise, he added.
Hunza’s acting assistant commissioner Amir Khan, Gilgit District Council member Jan Alam, Progressive Youth Front chief organiser Baba Jan along with youth activists visited the site to evaluate the situation.
Mr Alam asked the Northern Areas administration and the Pakistan government to immediately relocate the village to some safer area.
Mr Jan warned that the government and the administration would be held responsible for any disaster situation.
However, Amir Khan assured the villagers that the situation would be taken up with higher officials in order to ensure immediate action. Also at Dawn