Home Disaster Climate change: floods wash away road in Chitral, a tourist resort in Gojal

Climate change: floods wash away road in Chitral, a tourist resort in Gojal

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Climate change

High Asia Herald Report

Batura Glacier signboard installed near a tourist spot now flooded by GLOF. Photo: Asif Sakhi

Gojal/Chitral: Flash floods have destroyed a road infrastructure in Reshun, Upper District of Chitral and a tourist resort in Gojal, upper Hunza District of Gilgit-Baltistan.

On Friday night flashfloods in the Kunar river washed away a portion of the only road that connects the upper district of Chitral with its lower part and the rest of the country.

In a separate incident the outburst of a lake at Batura glacier in the northwest of Passu village in Gojal, Hunza District, destroyed a tourist camping site.

Speaking to our correspondent, Asif Sakhi, a young leader of Awami Workers Party said that the lake outburst had taken place in the small hours of Saturday that flooded a small lake which is famous for its turquoise water and close proximity to KKH, three tourist campsites, set up near the lake, a raft and a kitchen with its utensils.

The pressure of floodwater on a nearby bridge over KKH is increasing. If this pressure continues, there is a risk of the bridge collapsing and the KKH being cut. “We have informed the disaster management and district administration but got no positive response,” says the former candidate for GB Assembly from Hunza constituency.

He said that the youths had taken loans from banks and started business which was affected by the floods.

He urged the government to compensate the young people who lost their business to the floods.

For the past two weeks the whole country, including its northern regions, Kashmir, Gilgit-Baltistan and Chitral have been in the grip of an extreme heatwave with melting glaciers and flooding of rivers damaging communications, roads and settlements.

Road washed away in Chitral

Our Chitral correspondent reports that frequent floodings in recent years have destroyed a significant portion of the Reshun village situated on the left bank of Kunar River.

Locals had forewarned the concerned authorities and political leaders about the anticipated road erosion due to the flooding in the river, but no serious attention was paid to the issue.

No measures were taken to build a protective band to divert the river thrust to the other side of the village.

Resultantly, on Friday night heavy flooding in the river washed away the road. A large number of passengers unaware of the situation arrived at the site in the morning and found the road cut off.

Last week, NHA (North) member Mukesh Kumar had visited Reshun to inspect the dilapidated condition of the road affected by floods.

Many acres of agricultural lands, orchards and cemeteries in Reshun had already been washed away by the flash floods in 2015 and 2020.

A man is fetching water from a river in a bucket in Reshun Village in Upper Chitral. Photo by Fakhar-e-Alam

People demanded the resignation of the public representatives.

Severe shortage of drinking water

The problem of clean drinking water in Reshun has taken a serious turn. Reshun has been hit by severe floods over the past few years which has left its residents facing shortages of irrigation and clean drinking water.

Residents are having difficulty in accessing clean drinking water after last year’s floods affected water canals and pipelines.

Rehabilitation of the damaged pipelines has not yet been completed.

Also read: Call to expedite rebuilding work on broken infrastructure in Gollen valley https://thehighasia.com/call-to-expedite-rebuilding-work-on-broken-infrastructure-in-gollen-valley/

According to the residents of Reshun, due to the non-availability of clean water, various diseases are spreading among children and the elderly, for which immediate provision of clean drinking water is required.

The Reshun power station was also swept away by floods two years ago, disrupting the power transmission system to Upper Chitral. The restoration and maintenance of the power station have not been completed yet, causing great inconvenience to the people of upper Chitral.

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