KKH realignment and lowering of water level in dammed Hunza River a "priority", Zardari

The people of Gojal Valley have been a victim of the government's constant neglect during the last 18 months. The local people and members of GBLA, including Chief Minister and Speaker, have criticised the decision of awarding the task of excavation to Frontier Works Organization (FWO). This organization has failed to drain the lake despite of consuming tens of millions of rupees. The claim of FWO about digging the spillway up to 24 meters is believed to be an over exaggeration. A couple of months back GBLA Speaker, Wazir Baig, had told the house that only 12 ft of the spillway had been lowered, as opposed to the target of 30 meters that FWO had set for itself. PT Photo

ISLAMABAD, Aug 2: China has offered financial assistance for overcoming problems arising out of the natural lake formed in Hunza valley at Attabad, particularly its impact on Karakoram Highway.

A meeting presided over by President Asif Ali Zardari and Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani at the Presidency on Tuesday reviewed the progress made so far in lowering the water level in the lake and in reconstruction and realignment of the portion of Karakoram Highway that was damaged by massive landslides in January last year.

The president’s spokesman, Farhatullah Babar, said the meeting was held to review the progress made in implementing the decisions taken in July last year.

Minister for Communications Dr Arbab Alamgir Khan, Minister for Defence Chaudhry Ahmed Mukhtar, Minister for Finance Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh, Minister for Kashmir Affairs and Gilgit-Baltistan Manzoor Wattoo, Secretary General to the President Salman Faruqui, Gilgit-Baltistan Chief Minister Syed Mehdi Shah, Chief of Army Staff Gen Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, Senator Syeda Sughra Imam and senior government officials, besides representatives of the Chinese Embassy, attended the meeting.

The meeting decided to make resources available for expediting the lowering of water level in Attabad lake. The president also ordered expediting the work on the submerged portion of the Karakoram Highway for which funds were made available by China.

The meeting was informed that the proposal by the China Reconstruction Bridges Corporation for construction of 13km new road and rehabilitation of 22km of existing section of the Karakoram Highway by lowering the water level in Attabad Lake had been accepted and the National Highway Authority had signed a contract with the Chinese company.

Frontier Works Organisation Director General Maj Gen Najibullah Khan briefed the meeting on the progress made so far in lowering the water in the lake through controlled blasting and mechanical excavation.

The meeting was informed that pursuant to the decision taken in July last year and after the approval of design in September 2010, work on the widening of the spillway began in October last year.

It was informed that phase-1 of the project — that is, digging of the spillway up to 24 metres — has been completed while work on phase-2 was under way.

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  1. Daar aayad dorust aayad… Very late but laudable action by the Government.
    May the sufferings of the indigenous people come to an end soon..

  2. The government should also consider using this Dam for purpose of generating electricity, fish breeding.

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