Islamabad, June 28: The boat service reopened to facilitate stranded people of Gojal Valley seems to have turned into a profitable exploitative business model for a mafia of boat owners and operators.
Higher charging, delays in boat operations and misbehavior with the helpless commuters are some of the charges leveled by commuters against the boat operator. “The authorities have left us at the mercy of smugglers”, a commuter told Pamir Times the other day. “Only the illegal traders are reaping benefits of the service. Normal passengers are made [slideshow]to wait for hours at the landslide debris”, he further said. The boat operators also routinely misbehave with the commuters.
According to information most of the boat operators are non-locals who have no regard for sufferings of the stranded people.
A woman belonging to Chipursan valley fainted in front of PT’s reporter when the operators refused to ferry the commuters to upstream valley despite of making them wait for hours. The transportation of goods to upstream valleys continued without hindrance during the episode.
It seems that the authorities are more concerned about the transportation goods of tax-thieves than the people of Gojal.
On many occasions smugglers have snatched the boats and ferried goods to upstream valley, as authorities kept watching.