Hunza, June 22: Construction workers have been busy blasting a mountain near spillway of the dammed Hunza River, while trying to curve a road through the rugged mountain, to be able to facilitate movement of heavy machinery to a new under-construction tunnel.
The Hunza River was blocked on January 4, 2010, when the village of Attabad was destroyed as a result of a massive landslide. Debris of the Attabad village filled the Hunza Gorge with mud, rocks and soil, turning the river into a disaster lake.
The lake later increased in length to almost 22 kilometers and completely or partially destroyed four villages in the upstream region. The surging level of water in the dammed river also resulted in destruction of almost 30 km of the strategic Karakoram Highway.
The workers of Chinese Road and Bridges Corporation (CRBC) are currently building a series of mountain tunnels in the area to realign the destroyed portion of the Karakoram Highway. These tunnels will help re-establish the road link between China and Pakistan.
Currently an access road is being constructed between the spillway of the dammed Hunza River and one of the tunnels, to facilitate movement of heavy machinery.
The Chinese company is likely to start reconstruction of the Shishkat-Gulmit Bridge later this year, which is vital for complete realignment of the KKH.
According to a CRBC source work on three tunnels is underway currently. The Chinese company hopes to completely realign the KKH by the summer of 2014.