Gilgit - Baltistan

Shameful condition of a road in Gojal Valley, upper Hunza

PT Report
Photographs by Zaheer Bari

Gulmit, June 4: The difficulties of the people of Gojal valley do not seem to be coming to an end, thanks to corruption, insensitivity and lack of political action and will. Millions of rupees have been wasted ruing the last couple of years in the name of development, without giving any tangible benefit to the people of the disaster hit region. A case in point is the construction of a road between Gulmit and Hussaini, two villages in the Gojal valley.

Construction of the road, which was supposed to be an alternate to the submerged portion of Karakoram Highway in Gulmit and Ghulkin, had been contracted out to renowned businessman Javed Hussain, Chairman of the Gilgit-Baltistan Chamber of Commerce and Industries. Promising the local people in Gojal valley that they will be compensated within a week the President of the GB Chamber of Commerce had “convinced” them to give their land for construction of the road. However, neither was the road constructed in a proper way, nor did the compensation arrive.

Recently when he was contacted by Pamir Times for a comment on the situation of the road, Javed Hussain said that he had not received any money form the government. “I have invested my own money for construction of the road”, he said. An official of the PWD Hunza-Nagar also confirmed that Javed Hussain had not been paid. “He has only leveled the fields, without constructing walls and filling the ditches or building water channels on the sides of the road”, the RE of Hunza-Nagar Public Works Department told Pamir Times.

The road is currently in shambles and the contractor, the region’s representatives and the relevant government departments are acting as silent spectators.

This road has been abandoned by the transporters and casual travelers, because of its horrible condition, and they are instead using the historical Polo Ground located in middle of the village as a road. The malpractice has not only jeopardized an important cultural asset, it also creates threats for children and the elderly who move within the village.

It is pertinent to note that the road is being used by the Sino-Pak traders and the China Roads and Bridges Corporation for transportation of heavy machinery and merchandise worth tens of millions of rupees, everyday.

The people who contributed their land for construction of the road have not been compensated. With rise in temperature and the resultant increase in flow of water, the road is likely to be damaged more, causing difficulties for the thousands of people who travel between Gulmit and Khunjerab everyday.

The local people have threatened to come out on the roads and block the whole traffic if the district administration and the political leaders did not resolve the issue on priority basis.

They are demanding payment of compensation to the land owners and improvement of the road, to facilitate smooth flow of traffic through the village.

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  1. Thank you Zaheer Bari for projecting this very serious issue. I am surprised that no one takes interest in such issues as a huge number of our youth are very much busy with cricket and football tournaments. The very shamful factor of this project is that the government has not yet recognized this road as a regular project and therefore no compensation has been prepared sofar. I was the first person to project this issue when Chamber of commerce and CRBC officials suddenly decided to start work on this link road without taking the real affactees, the land owners in confidence.The first mistake was from the land owners, as on what basis they allowed these mafia to bulldoze the lands and level fields and chop trees.People donot understand that it was just a fraud of the smuggler mafia to destroy our lands and properties because they just need a freeway to transport their goods and as per the population of upper Gojal are concern, they have nothing with our losses and they also need freeway to the ferry.Now the only solution of this issue is to block the road immaterially for the traders as Javed Hussain, President Chamber of Commerce started road work purely on his responsibility and he is now responsible to compensate the affactees either he pays from his pocket or from govt exchequer. The socalled political leaders are hiding at Gilgit and they will do nothing because they are helpless and selfish.

  2. Javed Hussain,
    The Old Root of Corruption in Entire GB.
    and Gov’t is Still blessing him with the most important theekas?
    how shameful is that?

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