Summer afternoons on the Chenab

Chenab is a major river that forms in upper Himalayas and flows throw Kashmir and into the plains of Punjab, Pakistan.

The river essentially separates Rabwah and Chiniot. But are connected by the two bridges in place, the earlier one was constructed by the British and is over a century old.

It was constructed in Stocktontees, England by a British firm Head Wrightson & Co in 1877. The bridge also came under attack during the Indo-Pak war of 1965 but survived and a monument to the war hero’s of 65′ was erected on a rock by the bridge. Although the bridge was closed in the 90’s due to the heavy traffic load it is still used by Pakistan Railways as a railway bridge. While the latest one serves as a highway bridge for Faisalabad, Sargodha Road.

A decade ago the river bank was a major spot for both the people of Chiniot and Rabwah to spend their hot summer afternoons. There was jet skiing, rowing and boating but those fun filled afternoons soon disappeared as the water dried up. And the TDCP(Tourism Development Corporation of Punjab) remained a silent witness, TDCP however did build a small recreational area which was later renamed after Benazir Bhutto and entry was restricted.

However some keen enthusiasts have taken up the task of reviving those old sports. On Friday afternoons people bring down their personal jet skis, camp around the bank and ski there all afternoon. Some even attempt barefoot water skiing where they tie themselves behind the Jet Ski and stand up right.

Not to be left behind the Police have also established a check post by the riverside, two policemen are on duty 24/7 and have a motorboat at their service which is thought to have cost Rs 1million.

Jet Skiing on River Chenab – Rabwah
Ehsan Rehan

Ehsan is the founder & editor of Rabwah Times. He is currently baesd in Washington D.C. from where he covers Human Rights & Religious Freedom issues. He tweets at @Ehzan


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