By Khalid Pervaiz Raza
Beyond any modicum of doubt, the PTI-led government in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa holds power to bring about a settlement between the power supplying companies engaged in a stalemate over the issue of handing over of transmission lines for the provision of electricity to Upper Chitral from the Golen Gol power station. Any delaying tactics for political mileage will undermine the image of the PTI deflating the party vote bank in Upper Chitral in the upcoming general elections. The public resentment is brewing in the resultant tug of war between the two political parties—the PTI and the PML(N)—for taking away the credit; the public protesters have warned of dire consequences and road blocks if the issue is not resolved before the visit of the Prime Minister for the inauguration of the Hydropower project.
The KP government must be cognizant of the fact that Upper Chitral is bearing the brunt of power shortage and the business of life in this part of the district has come to a virtual standstill. One can imagine from the price hike in the market as a result of vendors and photocopiers having switched to fuel powered generators to cater to the needs of the public. The electric appliances like refrigerators and washing machines are lying useless at homes for want of electric power. The solarization of houses in the wake of the destruction of Reshun Power House did not suffice to operate these electric appliances to the chagrin of the disadvantaged people of the area.
The failure of the KP government to restore the Reshun Power House will negatively impact the canvassing of the PTI in this area. Resorting to a political gimmick by the PTI in the current stalemate over the power issue, will place the PML (N) in the receiving end with Lowary Tunnel and Golen Gol Power Project as the trump cards to cash in on for the PML (N) candidate in the upcoming elections. In a nutshell, the PTI led government should address the woes of the people of upper Chitral lest the situation arising out of power shortage shall spiral out of control.