Widening of spillway: Lake-affected people extend deadline by three days

HUNZA, June 28: The Hunza Lake affected people from Gojal valley on Monday extended the deadline to resume the widening of the spillway of the lake for three days after assurance from the top military officer of the region that the Frontier Works Organisation would do the same to ensure maximum discharge of water from the dame.

Gilgit-Baltistan’s Force Commander Maj-Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa held a meeting with the affected people of Gulmit and Shishkat and assured them that a panel of local experts would be formed to advise FWO engineers in widening of the spillway.

The local people informed the commander regarding their reservation on the FWO past performance.

They said that their lake of seriousness had resulted huge destructions to the settlements upstream.

“We do not need relief rather the authorities should work to save the settlements from further submersion,” the local people said.

The affected people some two days ago had threatened to commit suicide by jumping in shrouds into the lake if the spillway was not widened.

They warned that the decision will be materialised and five people in shrouds will commit suicide by jumping into the lake on daily basis, if what they called the false promises continued. “We do not have any reason to believe the authorities as only false promises have been made since Jan 4.” They said that the cracked portions on both sides of the spillway should be eroded safely.

They also expressed dissatisfaction over the helicopter and boat services as only influential, traders are benefiting from them, and common people, including women and children are left in the lurch.

They informed the general that only smugglers were benefiting from border trade depriving the local people.

The affected people also decided to postpone their protest and monitor the lake situation during the coming three days. DAWN

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