Kashmir: Sections of Karakoram Highway blocked in KP, GB due to landslide, mudslide

Jammu & Kashmir POK - Pakistan Occupied Kashmir

Travellers faced difficulties on Monday as sections of the Karakoram Highway — the thoroughfare that connects Punjab to northern areas of the country before crossing into China — were blocked in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Gilgit-Baltistan due to a landslide and mudslide.

Ghulam Abbas, deputy director for the National Highway Authority for Shangla and Kohistan, told Dawn.com that the highway was blocked near Shangla’s Bisham city in KP due to mudflow in Lahore nullah.

Abbas said that a team was mobilised to undertake the task of clearing the highway and restore the accessibility of road number 221 near Bisham.

Moreover, he said, there was another instance of road blockage at road number 428 in the Ginni area of GB’s Diamer district due to a landslide.

He added that a team from the Frontier Works Organisation (FWO) had initiated road clearance operations at this spot.

Separately, Dimer Deputy Commissioner Captain (retd) Muhammad Arif told Dawn.com that the primary route connecting GB to Mansehra, which serves as an alternative to the Karakoram Highway, was also blocked at Babusar.

He said that efforts were underway to clear the road for traffic and stranded tourists and passengers should expect the road to be accessible within a few hours.

While waiting at Lahore Nullah, Nabeel Ali, a tourist en route to Skardu with his family, spoke to Dawn.com in the evening.

He said he was expecting the road to reopen within hours as an FWO team had reached the spot. He also appealed to the government to address such travel-related challenges.

Meanwhile, Hayat Khan, who resides near Lahore nullah, told Dawn.com that intense rainfall had led to the suspension of electricity and damaged water supply lines in the area.

He said electricity pylons fell onto the Karakoram Highway by the force of strong winds combined with rain, adding that Peshawar Electric Supply Company staff had subsequently disconnected the electricity supply to the area and removed the impaired pylons.

But the entire area, including Bisham the city, “remains a state of darkness”, he said.

Meanwhile, Rawalpindi also saw heavy rain, following which Water and Sanitation Agency Managing Director Muhammad Tanveer said in a statement that drainage of rainwater had been initiated.

Separately, Rescue 1122 reported that a man had slipped into Nullah Lai during the rain. Rescue teams were engaged in the search for the individual, the statement said.__Dawn.com