Rains trigger landslide in Kotli Sattian

Villages at risk of being hit by mudslides as locals cry for help


​ Our Correspondent March 10, 2020
PHOTO: APP

RAWALPINDI: Several villages in the Kotli Sattian suburb of Rawalpindi are at risk of being swept by a mudslide, locals told The Express Tribune on Monday as some landslides, triggered by the ongoing spell of heavy rains, blocked the Chajana Road in Kotli Sattian.

Locals said that a huge mound of soil and rocks slid down the mountains on Monday and settled in an impassable pile on the road, disconnecting the villages and shutting off access to Kotli Sattian Bazaar.

Furthermore, they said, the mudslide was building up with the deluge and hill torrents from the surrounding hills, posing a risk of further sliding and damage to hundreds of homes and infrastructure in the hilly area.

Community leaders of Kotli Sattian have urged the government to prevent damage from landslides or mudslides.

Meanwhile, the locals complained that the district administration has yet to start a rescue and relief operation.

They told The Express Tribune that the landslide occurred after heavy rains, completely blocking the Chajana Road.

They further said that the road is the only link road between the villages and Kotli Sattian Bazaar owing to which they are facing extreme difficulties.

In the absence of officials and heavy machinery, locals could be seen trying to clear the road on self-help basis.

The continuing rains meant that the debris covering the road has turned into mud, worsening the situation for the locals.

Private school torched

A private school was torched by unidentified suspects within the remits of the Gujjar Khan police station on Monday.

However, no casualties were reported as the school was closed due to the coronavirus threat.

The fire caused extensive damage to the main building, burning down items such as furniture.

Gujjar Khan SHO Mian Imran Abbas said that the unidentified suspects set fire to the school early on Monday morning. He added that the blaze was so intense that the closed-circuit television camera (CCTV) digital video recorder (DVR) was also damaged. However, an investigation team had seized the DVR and will attempt to retrieve useful information for the identification of suspects.

Abbas said that soon after the incident, rescue teams and the police rushed to the site and put the fire out. The SHO said that the forensic teams have collected samples from the site.

The educational institution is owned by Chaudhry Ilyas and was established in a rented building. Police officials said that one possible cause of the arson was a land dispute between Ilyas and his paternal uncle.

Ilyas, while lodging a complaint with the police, accused his paternal uncle and his’ security guard were involved in the incident.

Meanwhile, the police registered a case and started the investigation.

Published in The Express Tribune, March 10th, 2020.

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