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Golen valley devastated by floods, hundreds stranded

CHITRAL: Hundreds of villagers remain stranded in their hamlets and villages in the Golen valley, about 25 km northeast of Chitral town, after flash floods brought destruction in the area on Sunday.

Aleema Khan, the sister of Prime Minister Imran Khan, who was visiting the valley and got trapped, in a village was rescued on a helicopter.

However, Deputy Commissioner Lower Chitral Khursheed Alam Mahsud was stuck in the area after reaching there to deliver relief goods among the affected people on a chopper.

Reportedly, the helicopter flew out of the area before evening without taking the DC and his staff.

Talking to media, the DC said affected people had taken shelter in safer places and women and children needed evacuation and there was an urgent need to arrange a helicopter early on Monday. He said water water was still raging in the area creating fears among the locals.

Meanwhile, details emerging from the area showed large-scale destruction to private and public properties, including roads, bridges, water supply lines, houses, fruit trees and standing crops.

The source of the water channel for the Golen Gol powerhouse was buried under flood debris and the channel has been closed. But the plants are still generating electricity from the stored water in a tunnel.

The stored water could keep the powerhouse running for 72 hours by then the water channel would be reconstructed, a source told ChitralToday. The source of the channel is located at a distance of about four km, he added.

Golen valley also provides drinking and irrigation water to a number of villages through pipelines such as Mori lower and Barghozi.

The 350 residents of Mori lower depend on Golen valley for 80 per cent of their drinking water needs. The supply lines have been damaged by the floods and there are apprehensions about an acute shortage of water in the village.

Besides, 90 per cent of the agricultural crops in the area are fed by the water from Golen valley and the water channels are also damaged.


Reporting: Muhammad Nayab Farani, Kamal A. Jamil & Mujeebur Rehman Rizakhel


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