8 meters deep area of the landslide debris excavated: FWO

Speaker GBLA, Chief Secretary and other officials at the Hunza River blockade. (PT Photo)

by Zulfiqar Ali Khan

HUNZA, Feb 8: The main bridge on Karakoram Highway (KKH) linking Pakistan and China near Gulmit and Shishkat villages, would submerge within 24 days in the lake formed on Hunza River due to the blockade of the river, said an official of the Frontier Works Organisation.

Naseem Hassan, spokesman for the FWO, in a briefing to Gilgit-Baltistan Legislativ Assembly Speaker Wazir Baig and Chief Secretary Babar Yaqub Fateh Muhammad at the lake site said that the rising water level further increased due to the recent snowfall. He said FWO engineers had excavated about 8 metres of the debris since Jan 29.

Experts were conducting study on the outburst of the lake as it was a possibility, he added.

The chief secretary said that 10 boats had been moved from Islamabad to facilitate the movement of people, food and other essential items to and from Gojal valley upstream on the lake.

He directed the Gilgit-Baltistan Power and Works Department to develop an approach road to the boat platform site for four vehicles to ease the travel of patients and women.

Meanwhile, the helicopter service remained suspended for the fifth consecutive day due to inclement weather leaving over 500 people, mostly patients and students, stranded on both sides of the blockade.

[Editor’s Note: According to NDMA website over 26, 000 cubic meters of debris was removed by January February 6. Since an average of 2, 000 cubic meters are being excavated everyday, the volume of debris excavated can be around 30, 000 cubic meters as of yesterday.]

Related Articles


  1. It is really a difficult situation. My younger brother Saeed Jan had a jeep accident three days back in Chipursan valley and he is stranded in Gulmit without treatment. Since there are no x-ray facilities in the hospital, his condition is getting worst. I was told that luckily there was a foreigner doctor who is trying his best to give him some medication. It is such a situation where all my family members are helpless and we are just praying that weather gets better and my brother is shifted to Gilgit safely.


  2. Brothers,things are more serious. This area is being eaten up by river slowly but surely.Agricultural land which is lively hood is being washed away

    Can any one ask the Chinese engineers or FWO how much landslide debris have to be removed to breach the dam blocking Hunza river safely?.

    I have heard that over 500,000 cubic meters will have to be excavated.Even if 400,000 cubic meters have to be excavated,
    according to my simple calculation at current pace it will take about 200 days,if same pace of work continues.

    If Shiskat bridge if submerged, whole upper area will be cut off.Is governemnt making arrangement for boats.

    While we appreciate all the work being done by NGOs and the governemnt, can all of them sit down on one table and let the people know what will happen when and by whom.Please,we need your help.

    On behalf of hard working people of Gojal we thank you all and also request for URGENT help

  3. Gojal is the piece of land being gifted by God so its his choice what ever he done. Its really a tough time for the villas but no longer will it remain.the issue is been arisen by locals as wel as out siders in diffrent platform so now it seems to be a little bit light at the end of the dark tunnel.may Allah give more n more courage to the effectees and rest the departed soul in solemn piece..Ameen !

  4. Can any one ask the Chinese engineers or FWO how much landslide debris have to be removed to breach the dam blocking Hunza river safely? So that we could calculate the ttal time to remove the landslide. According FWO ratio of removing 2000 debris perday.

  5. Zulfiqar

    could you please update us with new photos of shishket and the bridge between Gulmit and Shishket

  6. Ali Ahmad Jan has very rightly asked to know the information needed to assess the days required for excavation. Total estimated excavation quantities should be divided into two parts. The first one quantity of excavation of approach road and the second would be to calculate the actual quantity of materials to get a cut.

    I guess while working on the access road, the current physical situation only allows one machine to work at the spot to arrive at the proposed cut site! Once the approach road is built, and the situation is appropriate- the more the no of machines the higher the output and the lesser the days needed for the total excavation!

  7. @ Darjat

    The approach road was completed on Jan 28 and now working on the spillway. The point has enough space for many machine at a time and luckily more than triple of the debris is on KKH side than that on the river side. If the major debris was on river than no chance for water release for five months atleast.

    The working condition is good except slush and bad weather conditions hampers the pace. No major boulders yet encountered and the debris is of Clay (SIghez, Domool).

  8. Thank you Zulfiqar for all your reporting and sustained efforts to highlight the issue. Save Gojal committee in Islamamab would be organizing a demonstation on Friday.

  9. who will expect from FWO to cut the spillway on time, using 4000 bc machineries, when already Chinese are there why the project given to a corrupt organization? only the chinese can do it and save the remaing Gojal.

Back to top button