by Zulfiqar Ali Khan
HUNZA, January 12: : In contrast to the official claims, the people of Gojal are facing great difficulties in meeting their basic needs of daily use as the stocks in shops have plummeted and no arrangements have been made to ensure supply of food items and fuel to upper Hunza.
Gojal tehsil has been cut off from lower Hunza due to the blockade of Karakorum Highway after the last Monday’s massive landslide at Atabad. People are risking their lives to transport basic items of daily use on their back to cross the landslide area from lower Hunza to Gojal.
[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jx1CFX9qK6s]The people of Gojal have appealed to the government to open Khunjerab border for supply of food, medicine and other items of basic needs from China as meagre helicopters are unable to meet the requirement of the valley.
Talking to Dawn, they said that stocks in shops had plummeted due to the blockade of KKH for the last eight days.
“People are risking their lives and lifting heavy bags of flour, fuel drums and other items on their back and cross over three kilometres landslide debris, boulders and mud,” a man carrying basic food items said.
People were facing the risk of landslide from the KKH side but they don’t have any other option but to risk their lives, he added. Aziz Jan, chairman, Union Council Gojal, when contacted said that the increasing water level in the lake formed due to blockade of Hunza river would further damage the KKH at different points and also cover the track which would further create panic in Gojal.
He urged to the government to speed up the work on release of water from the lake to avoid human crisis.
The level of water in the lake is rising by 0.5 metre per hour and started submerging Ayeenabad, the first settlement in Gojal. Experts have reported that the water will cover the lower portion of the village within two or three days. Also see DAWN