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Karakoram Highway reopens to traffic in Hunza

Updated June 25, 2019

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The heavy water flow had damaged agriculture land and protection walls on both sides of the stream. — Dawn/File
The heavy water flow had damaged agriculture land and protection walls on both sides of the stream. — Dawn/File

GILGIT: The traffic on Karakoram Highway at Hasanabad in Hunza district was restored on Monday. The main artery was blocked after an artificially-formed lake at Shisper burst, washing away a portion of the road on Saturday night.

The heavy water flow had damaged agriculture land and protection walls on both sides of the stream.

GB Chief Minister Hafeezur Rehman visited the area to review the situation in Monday.

On the occasion, GB Disaster Management Authority and district administration officials briefed the CM about prevailing situation. The officials said the water flow from the glacial lake burst had reduced the risk of glacial flooding in the region.

All the water from the 900 meters long and 80 meters deep glacial lake formed at Shisper glacier has been released, they said.

The traffic on KKH was diverted to Sas valley in Nagar to avoid any life and property loss when the road was blocked.

On the occasion, local community representatives told the CM that the water flow from the glacial lake into Hasanabad nullah had damaged water channels, agricultural land and protection walls of the stream.

They complained that there were no preemptive measures taken, as a result, few of families were forced to shift to safer places on their own.

“Protection walls built along the Hasanabad nullah are not sufficient,” they said, adding funds provided for the purpose had not been utilised.

The chief minister directed the officials to ensure safety of local residents and prepare a report regarding damage caused to the agricultural land by the heavy water flow.

Mr Rehman said the GB government would take every possible measure to mitigate the suffering of the affected people of glacial lake outburst.

Published in Dawn, June 25th, 2019