PESHAWAR: Member National Assembly Shahzada Iftikharuddin has asked the Peshawar Electric Supply Company (Pesco) to address the electricity problems of the Chitral town to avoid law and order problem.
“Many remote parts of Chitral enjoy electricity through local community-based hydropower systems in the district. And in Chitral town the responsibility for generating and distributing electricity is the responsibility of Pesco, which has failed to come up to the expectations of the people,” he regretted.
Through a statement, he said the Singur powerhouse, which was set up in early 70s, had outlived its utility and produced barely 400 kv of electricity.
In the 90s, he said, the government had connected Chitral to the national grid. “But this was done through a 11000 kv line instead of 33000 one,” he said, adding, as a result the voltage of electricity in the town was very low and power remained suspended for days.
Due to which, he added, the hospital, blood banks, operation theatres, schools, market and businesses suffered immensely.
The MNA said the expansion of Singur powerhouse and bringing electricity from the government-funded Golane powerhouse were long term solutions that were being worked out.
“But the people of Chitral building on community electricity experience in the region have tried to help the government and Pesco. It was sad that while it is unable to solve the problems of Chitral, Pesco continues to hinder local solution creating embarrassment for the government,” he added.
Giving the example of the two megawatts powerhouse built at Istore Golane by the Sarhad Rural Support Programme (SRSP) through European Union assistance, the MNA said the powerhouse had provided 800, 000 units of electricity in the last four months predominantly to Pesco consumers in the town.
“The SRSP has been doing so on a test basis free of any cost to Pesco while its formal applications are approved by Nepra. For large parts of the town, this has eased life as people are getting 220 volts of electricity for the first time in a decade against the 70 watts the national grid provides them,”
However, he said, the Pesco instead of grabbing this opportunity has been shutting down its gridstation at Jutilasht to prevent electricity passing through for mysterious reasons.
He said this was spurring because Pesco had faced no problems in transmission and has consumed about 800,000 units of electricity before raising unfounded technical issues.
The MNA said that both the transformers at the grid and the PEDO lines had been established by ex-MNA Shahzada Mohiuddin to get electricity from Reshun Power House to Chitral and therefore the town had first priority over it.He said that work on the transmission line was almost complete and transmission of electricity is at present only being done at night so this is a poor excuse.
The MNA urged Pesco not to test the patience of the people in Chitral. He asked the secretary to the prime minister and the secretary power to look into the issue and find an immediate amicable solution to the issue.–The News