CHITRAL: The PTI government dropped Chitral’s key projects worth billions of rupees which had been included in the federal budget 2018-19 by the previous PML-N government.
“Though it would be too early to pass a judgment on the performance of the new government one can get a fair idea from the intentions of the government that has conveniently taken out Rs49 billion of Chitral’s projects from the federal budget it presented in Sept 2018,” former MNA Shahzada Iftikharuddin said in a statement.
These projects were part of the budget presented by the PML-N government which had sufficient finances for them in the annual allocations, he added.
According to the ex-MNA, the projects dropped from the budget included the 212 km Gilgit-Shandur road costing Rs 25 billion, the 132 km Terich to Lot Owir road with an estimated cost of Rs3 billion which after completion of the detailed survey would have reached Rs16 billion (excluding the 30% value lost by the rupee vs US dollar), Rs 2.9 billion PC-1 cost of University of Chitral for which Rs500 million were tentatively allocated in the Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP) but which after CDWP approval would have cost Rs2.9 billion.
Besides, Rs1.8 billion allocated for new 132 KVA transmission line and grid stations from Golen Gol to Qaqlasht with four additional grid stations planned at Qaqlasht, Mastuj, Garam Chashma and Gang for the planned marble city were also taken out of the budget.
This meant that the residents of Upper Chitral and other concerned areas will continue to be deprived of Golen Gol electricity since the current 33 KVA line linking Jutilasht to Upper Chitral can bear loads of only four MW whereas the actual demand of Upper Chitral may be somewhere between 10 MW to-12 MW.
Moreover, Rs3.47 billion for nine new feeders inclusive of 600 transformers for entire villages of Chitral from Arandu to Broghil, including Gobor, Arkari, Karimabad. Kalash valleys, Ayun, Broz, Yarkhun, Laspur, Madaklasht/Shishikuh, Urtsoon, Jinjeretkuh, Terich, Rech, Melp, Khot, Wasshich, Golen and Phasti were also dropped.