Tuesday May 30, 2023

Tourists and commuters remain stranded in Kaghan

By Our Correspondent
July 07, 2022

MANSEHRA: Thousands of tourists and commuters travelling between the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Gilgit-Baltistan (GB) remained stranded on Wednesday as the Kaghan Development Authority (KDA) failed to reopen the Mansehra-Naran-Jalkhad (MNJ) road blocked by a heavy landslide at the Basal area a day before.

“The tourists and passengers travelling in around 225 coaches and vehicles are stranded near the Lolusar Lake as the relevant departments have failed to clear the road for the last almost 24 hours,” Dr Mohammad Abdul Saboor, Chief executive Officer, Southern Punjab Cricket Association Multan, told this correspondent by telephone from the area.

The landslides, which according to the stranded commuters and tourists, blocked the Basal in the evening on Tuesday was yet to be cleared for traffic.

“We [family] have entered the Kaghan valley after visiting the Hunza area of the GB and have been stuck up after the landslides,” Dr Saboor said. He said that the operation of clearing the MNJ Road was very slow and if the road couldn’t reopen to traffic within the next three to four hours, there might be food scarcity as only two hotels were catering to the food and other necessities for the stranded families

The doctor said the hoteliers have been cooperating with the stranded families and providing the foods and other necessities at highly reasonable prices but they would feel problems if the blocked artery was not reopened.

Hassan Deen, the managing director of Moon restaurants chain, which also operates its hotel in the Basal area, said they provided the food and other services to the stranded families including women and children at a reasonable price so that none of the stranded individuals could remain without food.

Mohammad Shakeel, head of a tourist family from Lahore, said that the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government should take action against the relevant department that had failed to clear the road even after 24 hours.

“Most of the family spent the night in the open in their vehicles and coaches in highly miserable condition,” he complained.