Dwellers of snow-hit upper Kaghan leave for warm abodes

By Our Correspondent
December 04, 2023

MANSEHRA: The residents of Battakundi and other areas in Upper Kaghan valley have left for lower parts of the country after the heavy snowfall.

Though the upper parts of Kaghan valley had received the first snowfall of the current winter in November this year, the dwellers of Battakundi and adjoining localities have shifted to Mansehra, Garhi Habibullah and the rest of the country after the recent spell of snowfall.

The business community also closed down their business, hotels, shops and trade centres with the closure of the tourism season.

People walk past graves after heavy snowfall. — AFP/File

“Our skeleton staff is still present in Naran to deal with any snow or rough weather-induced mishaps as the valley presents a deserted look from Naran onwards,” Kaghan Development Authority Director Assad Shahzad Khan told reporters on Sunday.

Shahzad Khan said that the Mansehra-Naran-Jalkhad Road, which links Khyber Pakhtunkhwa with Gilgit-Baltistan, was closed to all sorts of traffic from Soach (Naran) onwards.

“The recent snowfall has also blocked the artery that links Naran, the commercial hub of the valley, with Saiful Muluk Lake,” he added.

The official said that tourists, motorists, and even locals should avoid adventurism on snow-blanketed roads to avoid any mishaps.

Hoteliers Association chairman in Kaghan valley, Hassan Deen, said that the business activities had completely been suspended till April next year after the recent snowfall.

“We may resume our business in early May this year as the valley had received the heaviest snowfall of almost a decade during the previous winter,” he added.

He said that Mansehra-Naran-Jalkhad Road was in a highly dilapidated condition from Balakot onwards and the government should ensure its early blacktopping to promote tourism in the valley.