Manor Valley loses road link

Thousands trapped, stranded as flood destroys entire infrastructure


Zulfiqar Ali August 28, 2022
A valley lies flooded as seen from a helicopter during a tour by Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear over eastern Kentucky, U.S. July 29, 2022. Office of Governor Andy Beshear/Handout via REUTERS

BALAKOT:

Thousands of people are trapped and stranded since the Manor Valley lost its road transport link due to excessive overflow and floods in Kunhar River and Manor Valley Canal.

More than 18 shops and three hotels in Mahandri have also been swept away by the floods. The buildings of Mahandri Police Post, Mahandri High School, Mahandri Primary school and Madrasa Tahfeezul Quran have also been affected. The business community has suffered losses worth hundreds of millions of rupees.

Moreover, 14 people were swept away in the Kunhar river, from which the bodies of eight have been recovered.

The flood relay in Manor Valley has destroyed the entire infrastructure of the area.

Sardar Shaukat, an official of Youth Force in Manor Valley, told The Express Tribune that no member of the district administration has been able to reach Manor Valley as yet. Fifteen kilometers of road, eight bridges, three schools, markets, hotels and about half a dozen vehicles of Manor Valley canal have been affected. Apart from this, seven mini power plants, twelve transformers and hundreds of livestock were also washed away in the flood.

According to Shaukat, 50 years of development of Manor Valley have been wasted in two days. Crops of potatoes worth hundreds of thousands of rupees have also been destroyed. In all, the entire infrastructure of Manor Valley worth billions of rupees has been badly hit by the floods. Surprisingly, no response for relief has been received from the government nor any rescue teams have been detailed in the area. Local youth teams are conducting rescue operations on self-help basis for those stranded in remote areas.

Devastation in Lower Kohistan

Meanwhile, District Police Officer (DPO) Lower Kohistan Zulafiqar Jadoon Saturday said that at least 16 people, including five women and three children, died due to the rains and flash floods during the last two days in Lower Kohistan.

Talking to the media, he said that the water flow of devastating streams and drains including Dubeer Pattan and Kehal has started to decrease while the work of clearing landslides at different places on the KKH is also in progress.

Rains have partially subsided in the upper parts of the Hazara division including district Mansehra and Upper Kohistan while Kaghan Highway has been opened for traffic, water flow in River Kunhar and Dubeer rivers has started to decrease.

After three days of closure, the Kaghan highway was opened for traffic. Landslides were cleared at Battal Jalkad by the heavy machinery of Kaghan Development Authority (KDA) and the traffic was restored. KDA officials deputed local police on Lake Saiful Muluk Road and temporarily banned tourists from going to Saiful Muluk Lake.

According to the administration in Upper Kohistan, the flow of water in the mountain streams is decreasing. District administrations and Frontier Works Organization (FWO) are busy clearing the debris on the Karakoram Highway (KKH).

Published in The Express Tribune, August 28th, 2022.

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