An Indian Civilizational Perspective

Tarbela Dam & Karkoram Highway Threatened in Pakistan

Coming to very recent times, two months ago, on 04 January, 2010, a portion of a mountain gave way to block the Hunza river at Atabad, in the Gilgit-Baltistan area. After hitting the lowest portion of the valley, the land-slide climbed up the opposite hill side and damaged the Karakoram Highway (KKH). Trade with China on the KKH remains disrupted since then. Fortunately, the water flow in the river is low in January, but the flow picks up as temperature rises and snow starts melting. By 27 February, 43 days after the landslide, the longest Bridge over the Hunza, 11 Kms upstream of the landslide area, got submerged. The water level is expected to rise another 30 meters above the bridge. The Karkoram Highway hugs the banks of the Indus and Hunza, crossing over at regular intervals to the opposite bank and back on bridges. Upstream of Atabad, the KKH is now submerged for a length of 15 Kms.

The final size of the lake is expected to be bigger than the lakes formed in 1840 and 1858.

The block in the valley at Atabad is long but narrow like the cork of a champagne bottle. It is 3000 meters long along the valley, and 200 meters wide.

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