Hussaini village still deprived of basic facilities

Ali Musofer

One elected government has completed its tenure while the next one will soon resume its offices but the decades long miseries of the dwellers of Hussaini village remained unnoticed.

Hussaini, a village in Gojal valley, 45 kms from Central Hunza and 132 kms from Gilgit, is one of the most unfortunate villages of Gilgit-Baltistan which is deprived of the very basic facilitates of life in this modern age.

The people of this village face plenty of problems ranging from water shortage for irrigation and drinking to education, health, infrastructure and almost a 30 years long bridges dilemma, which connects the village with its other part, known as Zarabad (three times larger than Hussaini), parted by the Khunjrav River.

The people of Hussaini are mostly dependent on farming, as they practice all agricultural activities in Zarabad for a long time.

In the winter season the locals of Hussaini construct temporary bridges to make access to Zarabad but in summers the huge water flow in the Khunjrav River wipes off the only means of connection between the two villages. People cannot visit Zarabad on daily basis for farming or any other purposes during the summers.

In order to sustain the only source of income (farming) the villagers select five farmers every year to move and take care of the crops of the entire village at Zarabad .

In 1960, the  then President of Pakistan Ayub Khan visited Zarabad for hunting purpose and directed the authorities to construct a suspension bridge between the two villages which was finally completed in 1967-68.

AKRSP constructed a hanging bridge at the same location in 1986, which was damaged by the severe wind during winter season.

Ghzanfar Ali Khan elected five times as representative of the area and on every election he promised the people for construction of the bridge and even sometimes he claimed to construct steal or RCC bridge for two villages, Zarabad of Hussaini and Kharambad of Passu. Both are located across the river.

Ghazanfar Ali Khan, who was Chief Executive during the Musharraf regime, and is now newly elected member of Gilgit-Baltistan Legislative Assembly from the constituency was invited in the village in 2006 over this bridge issue and he said Zarabad is sort of a pasture and we cannot spend huge money on it. Before that he had promised to the people of Hussaini several times during his election campaigns that he will resolve the two longstanding and notorious issues bridge and drinking water problem of the village. But his tall promises never fall true.

PPP got elected three times from the area but they also ignored the problems despite several promises. The broken bridge was completely submerge in Attabad Lake in 2010 following the Attabad landslide disaster. Though the PPP led government rehabilitated the bridge. But due to lake of check and balance by the government the contractors rebuilt the bridge with poor quality material which has again started decaying.

The Passu village is also suffering from the same problem due to lake of bridge between Passu and Khurambad.

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