Tue. Jun 25th, 2019

Passengers and boat operators playing with risk in Gojal Valley

Passengers sitting an overloaded boat prepare to move across the dammed Hunza River
Gojal Valley: Passengers sitting an overloaded boat prepare to move across the dammed Hunza River

Haider Ali

Hunza, February 5: Passengers traveling to and from the Gojal Valley are playing with risks every day. The risks increase in the winters when the dammed Hunza River’s surface freezes, making it difficult for the boats to operate.

A man trying to break the surface to facilitate the boat's movement
A man trying to break the surface to facilitate the boat’s movement

Passengers and boat operators, putting themselves at critical risk, have to manually break the lake’s frozen surface to move forward, inch by inch.

A boat stuck in middle of the frozen river
A boat stuck in the middle of the frozen river

The passengers have been wearing safety jackets for the last couple of weeks. However, apart from the safety jackets there is no other safety measure in place to reduce the risk of disasters.

The
The risk of accidents during such tasks are very high and there are no safety measures in place in the case of any disaster

These boats carry people of all age as well as patients from Gojal Valley who have no other option available to reach health facilities in Aliabad or Gilgit.  There’s shortage of health facilities in the Gojal Valley due to which a lot of people have to travel outside the region to get medical attention.

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