Gilgit, October 21: The dammed Hunza River has become a permanent landmark of the Gojal Valley, upper Hunza, and so have the problems faced by commuters.
The launching of a basic rescue boat in the dammed river earlier this year had brought a sigh of relief for the people of the region but its effectiveness during the harsh winters is yet to be tested. During the past three years commuters faced the worst traveling conditions when the river water froze and it was impossible for boats to commute between the upstream villages and the spillway.
There are reports that the existing rescue boat launched by Rescue 1122 may not be able to travel after the river water has partially or completely frozen.
This year there were media reports about donating and handing over of two well-equipped rescue boat by USAID to the Chief Secretary of Gilgit-Baltistan in Karachi. However, so far, those reportedly handed-over boats have not been launched in the river.
The local people in Gojal Valley have demanded that the two boats donated by USAID specifically for the region should be launched in the lake, to facilitate patients, senior-citizens, pregnant women and the children.