Gilgit, August 15: The Gilgit-Baltistan administration has failed to retrieve the body of a person, identified as Saleem, who fell in the Gilgit river this morning after the rope of a hanging “chair-lift” snapped. These “chair-lifts”, used for crossing ravines and rivers, are locally known as Grari and they are constructed at sites where bridges are not available.
The dead body is visible from the banks of the river, but the Rescue 1122 workers are reluctant to take it out because they have not been trained in water rescue technique.
According to locals, the body can be washed away if it is not taken out.
The local people have protested against the failure of the Gilgit administration and the government for failing to put systems in place despite of annual accidents involving deaths and drowning in the Gilgit River.
Locals have demanded quick action from the government to retrieve the body from the river.
It is pertinent to note that Rescue 1122 and other government and non-governmental organizations do not have expertise in water rescue in the Gilgit-Baltistan region.
Every year, people drown in rivers and streams but the government has failed to build capacity of the relevant organizations, which is resulting in loss of lives, as well as agony for families who have to search for several days to get their dear ones out.
While Rescue 1122 has emerged as a very effective organization to tackle other emergencies, it lacks the capacity to conduct successful and effective water rescue operations.