Commuters stranded as Gojal Lake water freezes

People Demand Regular Helicopter Service

A boat that started sinking in Gulmit with four people on board is being emptied with the help of water cans. There is no professional rescue team in the are to save lives during such disasters. The passengers saved their lives and swam to the lake shore in the freezing cold water.

PT Report

Gulmit, December 15: The sharp drop in temperature has further increased difficulties for the people in Gojal Valley.

A woman belonging to the remote Raminji Village of Gojal Valley delivered a child inside a van en-route to Aliabad, Hunza, while waiting at Hussaini for the boats to operate. She had been referred to the Aliabad Hospital due to gynaecological complications.

Around two hundred people are stranded on both ends of the lake that had formed due to a mega landslide incident earlier this year.

Hundreds of patients are forced to travel to other parts of the region due to lack of health facilities in Gojal Valley. The acting – Governor of Gilgit – Baltistan, Wazir Baig, who won sweeping majority from Gojal Valley, has badly failed to ensure provision of sustainable health facilities to the 25,000 stranded population of Gojal Valley.

A local lady doctor, Khadija Ali, who had volunteered to work in the difficult situation, was forced to leave her position due to uncertainty regarding her future caused by bureaucratic red-tapism and lack of political will.  The lack of interest from the GB government can be proven by the fact that the Health Minister has still not visited the calamity hit region.

The Aga Khan Health Services Pakistan has also failed to provide viable health facilities to the people despite of the fact that the region has been going through its worst ever natural calamity for almost one year. The local people were expecting extraordinary steps from this NGO in the wake of the disasters, based on its history of services, but the failure has brought bad name to the AKHSP, as well as the AKDN.

The local people have expressed extreme anger against the political leaders, the bureaucrats and the NGO leaders for taking the sufferings of Gojal Valley lightly and not taking steps to mitigate the existential threats posed by the monster lake.

The statements of PML leader, Nawaz Sharif, about establishment of hotels at the lake have been termed as a ruthless joke with the people of Gojal Valley. “While our women, elders and children are suffering from the worst kind of disasters, the vision-less and heartless opportunists are thinking of using our land for making money”, Abid, an Islamabad based MBA student hailing from Gulmit said.

Adil Khan, a manager of the Mountain Area Support Organization (MASO), feared that with further drop in temperature the sufferings will increase immensely. “Yesterday a boat was stuck in middle of the lake because the water had frozen”, he said. “The people broke the sheaths of ice and made way for the boat but today the lake has frozen again”, he further said. Adil also said that the people do not need relief items but they want drainage of the lake on war footings.

It is pertinent to note that a group of activists is making plans to observe January 4, 2011 as a Black Day, to register dissatisfaction and anger against the government and other authorities.


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One Response to Commuters stranded as Gojal Lake water freezes

  1. Hafiz shah Ali says:

    This is sad.
    People should approach the GB administration and GB-DMA and ask them to help.

    And with due respect, the people should sprit of helping their brothers and sisters and help themselves.

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