Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Analysis of recent events in Hunza - letter to the CM GB

From: Hisamullah Beg SI(M) []

Sent: Monday, July 05, 2010 12:48 PM

To: ''

Subject: Feed back on Possibility

My dear Brig. Sajid Naeem,

Member (Operations)

I have appended copy of my comments that had appeared on Prof D. Petley’s blog. I would request you to bring it to the notice of Gen Nadeem HI(M) also. I will be happy to discuss the basis for my remarks if any clarifications are needed. You may also visit my blog by clicking on my name link below.

“Hisamullah Beg SI(M) said...

I wish you had seen the site of slide before it happened on 04th of Jan 2010. You would have reached the conclusion that I have reached long ago, that the lake is there to stay without any danger of bursting for a long time to come. Please join me in recommending to covert this disaster to an opportunity - by using it for generating 40 MW in winters and 400Mw for the three months in summers.”

Date: July 17, 2010

To, Syed Mehdi Shah,

Chief Minister of Gilgit Baltistan,

Subj: Draft Gazette Concerning Rehabilitation of Natural Disaster in Hunza.

My Dear Mehdi Shah,

I have the pleasure in sharing the draft for a Government of Gilgit and Baltistan Gazzette notification (annexure-I). I will be able to tell you why I am saying what I am saying if you can take out some time for discussion and let me know as soon as possible.

I hope you have already received proposal on progressive rehabilitation of disaster affected populations (copy enclosed as annexure-II). Their rehabilitation can only be started once you have initiated this Gazette Notification on private ownership of the lake.

I have also enclosed a copy of the communication with PIA as a civil society attempt to alleviate the problems faced by ordinary passengers of our region (annexure-III). I hope you also ring up the MD so that this attempt becomes useful.

With Warm Regards,

Brig. Hisamullah Beg SI (M)
P.O Karimabad, Hunza
Cell# 0345-5326255

Copy for information and Action:

1. Mr. Wazir Beg, Elected Representative and Speaker GBLA
2. Mr. Mutabiat Shah, Technocrat
3. Mr. Izhar Ali Hunzai, GM AKRSP

Thursday, July 22, 2010
To Lt. Gen. (R) Nadeem Ahmed, HI (M), SE, T Bt
Chairman, National Disaster Management Authority.

My Dear General,

Further to my communication dealing with Progressive Rehabilitation Plan (copy enclosed as ready reference) of the disaster affected population in Hunza, I have the pleasure to share following un-solicited views.

I believe that NDMA and the Government of GB are waiting for the reports from the three foreign experts before taking the next step and decision on the fate of this lake. In my view, you need to consider the fact that this slide is unique in nature and experience with landslides in other parts of the world will not help in predicting the behavior of this lake. A totally independent judgment needs to be made on the basis of a scientific analysis of the stability. It would be essential to complete ranging and determining the inconsistencies in the entire cross section through one of the latest techniques used by exploratory agencies such as OGDC in the shattered mountain barrier that has blocked the river. FWO has certainly attempted to achieve the targets according to the work plan but they were hampered by this solid stone wall and go to the depth of 24 meters instead of 30 originally conceived.

The cost of offer to blast and dredge and effect a controlled release of lake by the Chinese is very high as such the offer by the OGDC engineer Mr. Baig Ali may be considered if it is decided to follow this course but meanwhile I would insist with the government of GB and also request you to advocate the issue of the proposed draft gazette notification already forwarded to the government of GB (copy of the same enclosed.)

With Best Wishes

Brig. Hisamullah Beg SI (M)

Cell# 0345-5326255

(Also enclosed coy of PAO No. 378/Cas/92 of 21 May 92 which would certainly give you an idea about my capacity and credibility to support my comments)

Extract from Pakistan Army Order No. 378/Cas/92 of 21 May 92.


1. The COAS has been pleased to award commendation Card to PA-11131 Brig Hisamullah Beg, EME for his outstanding professional engineering talents, keeping a keen eye on the problems of avionics eqpt of Army Avn. His professional achievement has a wide application and will solve many problems associated with Radars, and many other eqpt in army inventory. His thorough dedicated research, employing spec technique has saved the army a huge amount of money.

2. A note to this effect will be made in the svc docus of the above named offr.

Subject: Proposals on Progressive Rehabilitation of Afectees of Natural Disaster

My Dear Zafar Wiqar Taj,

I have the pleasure in sharing the following current documents dealing with the subject. I feel that in view of your responsibility in dealing with many aspects of the challenge these could prove of some help as a contribution from civil soceity;

Communication with CM GB ( the requested meeting took place on Sunday)
Communication with Chairman NDMA
Rehabilitation Planning data

I would take this opportunity to request you to visit my blog:

You will find analysis relevant to your responsibilites on the following topics:

1901 Judgement on Border Disputes between Hunza and Nagar.
Sectarian conflict in Gilgit and Baltistan and possibles ways forward
Status of Gilgit and Baltistan as well as International designs in GB
Concept of civil soceity as applicable to Hunza
Hydroelectric potential in Gilgit and Baltistan

With best wishes,

Hisamullah Beg SI(M)

Planning data for Rehabilitation

Since the situation is more or less stable now, the government (along with its agencies) and the civil society elements need to evolve a coordinated plan for rehabilitation. The basic planning data available (on 02 Jul 2010) through NDMA and FOCUS is tabulated as under:

NDMA DATA: Displaced Families / Individuals Due to Land Sliding: 141 Houses (1652 individuals) of Village Attabad & Sarat displaced due to land sliding on 4 January 2010.

Due to Inundation starting from 10 January onwards till date:-

Village Ainabad           32 Houses
Village Shishkat           130 Houses
Part of Village Gulmit   61 Houses
Hussaini                       10 Houses
Gulkin                          7 Houses

Total                             240 Houses

Grand Total: (including Atta Abad & Sarat) 381 Houses

Due to Blockage of Access Roads: All the valleys upstream of the lake, to include Shimshal, Sust, Chupurson and Misghar, where no damage has occurred, but people are suffering due to no economic activity and non availability of items of daily sustenance (total affected population 25000).

Boat service has resumed from 24 June onwards.
Heli service is being provided to sustain the population upstream

FOCUS DATA The landslide disaster has displaced 1163 people from Attabad.
Two more households in Gulmit were declared IDPs, taking the total number of IDP households to 42. The number of households displaced in Shishkat is 92, in Ayeenabad 32 and Hussaini, 2.

Damming of the Hunza River has created issues and challenges for over 25, 000 people stranded in the Gojal valley due to destruction of the Karakurm Highway, economic lifeline of the region

It may be pointed out that there is a noticeable difference between the two data sources. I therefore recommend to the Regional Council in Hunza as well as district administration to sit together and remove the anomalies in the planning data so that rehabilitation plans are formulated and executed without the frequent hitches that we see in our country in similar situations elsewhere.

(Draft Gazette notification - Government of GB)

Government of Gilgit Baltistan

Gazette Notification

Rehabilitation of Affectees of Ataabad Disaster

Issued by Authority

Chief Minister’s Secretariat

Gilgit, Saturday, July 17, 2010

Government of Gilgit Baltistan declares Attabad Lake formed as a result of massive landslide on river Hunza in District Hunza-Nagar as ‘private property’ of the LSO formed by the affected families (381 households) retro effectively from 4th of January 2010 till it lasts. As such all economical activities connected with the lake will be the source of income for the present and coming generations of the affected families.

Syed Mehdi Shah,
Chief Minister                                         Dated: ------------------------

Proposal for Progressive Steps in Rehabilitation

1. District administration in Hunza/ Govt of GB declares Attabad lake as ‘private property’ of the LSO formed by the affected families (381 households), as such all economical activities connected with the lake will be the source of income for the present and coming generations of the affected families.

2. A ferry company is immediately formed. The requirement of finances is met from a small portion of Government allocations announced for the rehabilitation, funds donated by the foreign governments, civil society, NGOs and philanthropists. Following will be the broad outline of the functioning:

a) The shares of this company are given to the affected households in proportion to the value of property lost.

b) Upper Hunza residents and their goods are charged at actual, while all the others are charged at a rate designed to earn a reasonable profit for this company.

c) Any investor other than the LSO of affectees will pay ‘user fee’ to the LSO for any ferry service (or any other economical activity such as fish farming/ tourism related etc.)

3. The LSO elects or selects the governance for this company and others that are listed below. Management is inducted by the governance. Principles of governance, management and financial control in accordance with the eight AKDN guide-line booklets. AKRSP to arrange training.

4. Another company or committee of the LSO initiates Fish farming with the technical guidance from the government department concerned, with domestic and export markets in sight. Indigenous expertise in fishing industry is already available through traders in Karachi, hailing from Nazimabad .

5. Yet another company or committee of the LSO looks after tourist related activities, such as those current in Kashmir Lakes (Dull, Wuller etc).

6. For large scale projects such as electrical generation, the affected populations get 51% shares for 100% investment by in country or foreign investors (incl government investment)- Govt of GB to legislate on top priority (Law on IPPs in Pakistan may be adopted with minor modification to ensure requirements as noted)

7. Apart from generating electricity the water channel is also used for irrigating the barren land belonging to Ganish villages within Hunza Boundaries (well defined in 1901 judgment).This is preferably donated to affectees (Recall historical practice in Hunza of ‘ADOPTION INTO A CLAN AS A BROTHER) or else reasonable charges are paid to the traditional owners.

8. Land plots are allocated in proportion to the property lost through landslide and/lake engulfment, and development costs are met through the resources mentioned above.

9. All these activities are supervised by District Administrations but executed by Agencies such as AKRSP and LSO combination.

10. Submitted for consideration of the action committee, elected representatives, VOs/WOs of the affected villages, government of GB, AKRSP and Civil Society organizations such as council in Hunza.

NOTE: Emotional attachment and demand to regain the engulfed properties by blasting and dredging etc may render the rehabilitation plans un realizable for an indefinite period with indefinite results with associated enormous costs.

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