Mon. Oct 14th, 2019

Erosion threatens Passu settlement, KKH

Photograph showing massive erosion of riverbank in Passu. Photo Courtesy: Shah Wali
The recent photograph shows a massive erosion of riverbank in Passu. Photo Courtesy: Shah Wali

PT Report

Hunza, August 31: The massive and unabated erosion of the riverbank has taken a serious threat to habitations, settlement and a portion of the strategic Karakoram Highway (KKH) in Passu village, located between the two major glaciers of Batura and Passu.

The erosion of the riverbank keeps increasing every summer and the government has failed to provide any permanent solutions to save the livelihoods of the villagers and the strategic KKH connecting Pakistan and China.

This map of Passu village clearly indicates the erosion of Passu settlement over a period of time. Map Courtesy: Dr. Hermann Kreutzmann

This map of Passu village clearly indicates the erosion of Passu settlement over a period of time. Map Courtesy: Dr. Hermann Kreutzmann

The increased melting of glaciers has further exacerbated the erosion and threatened many electricity poles and a portion of KKH between Passu and Jonabad. The locals on self-help basis relocated many of the threatened poles in order to ensure power supply to lower parts of Gojal tehsil.

The erosion has already washed away hundreds of acres of cultivable land in Passu village and if this situation continues, the river will swallow the remaining habitation and livelihood in Passu, a villager informed Pamir Times. He said the river is now eroding a portion of KKH between Jonabad and the main village settlement.  He called on the authorities to take preventative measures to halt further effects of the river erosion.

It is worthy to mention here that Passu has always been one of the villages hit hardest by glacier outburst floods in Shimshal and other Upper valleys. The village land have been shrinking over time pushing the population to shift to newly created irrigated lands in previously barren lands.

Local volunteers relocating the threatened electric poles: Photo Courtesy: Shah Wali
Local volunteers relocating the threatened electric poles: Photo Courtesy: Shah Wali

5 thoughts on “Erosion threatens Passu settlement, KKH

  1. Land erosion is a permanent challenge in the village. The community could have approached NHA and asked them to have inbuilt design (reinforced mitigation structures at the outlets of both the rivers) to prevent KKH from river damage if not the village land!

    Meeting NHA at this stage is one option and second option is keeping the project in the annual ADP of GB and Third option could be approaching flood commission. Surely there could be other options as well.

  2. Joint efforts of key stake holders( GBDMA, NHA, AKRSP, MNAs)can mitigate this hazard through mutual collaboration and coordination. The NHA needs to to be proactive to overcome such hazards. If it is beyond their capacity than they should approach through international service providing agencies. GBDMA as well as DDMA needs to follow up with NHA. All responsible and relevant authorties need to be alert to face any hazard and disaster.

  3. may I remind this generation, that before AKRSP came on the scene, villagers used to solve the problems of their area on their own. the claim of 35 years of AKRSP is that communities have been further strengthen…… so, where is it? Will you be sitting around for ever, discussing your vanishing lands and hoping that some outsiders will come and help you? Wake up. your future is at stake.

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