CHITRAL: Hopes about getting rid of the power crisis in Chitral for good have dashed to the ground due to the callous attitude of the PTI government as well as its power utility departments.
Accepting the demand of the people, former prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi while inaugurating the first phase of the 108 megawatt Golen Gol hydro power station had sanctioned allocation of 35 MW to Chitral in order to resolve the longstanding power crisis in the district, especially in the town area. It would have met all the current demand of the whole valley and would be sufficient to meet even additional requirements in terms of new industrial units.
But due to the apathy of the elected representatives and the callous attitude of the current government, the departments concerned shifted the whole electricity generated at Golen Gol to Timargarah to put it in the national grid. Now Chitral is being provided only about 33 KV of Golen Gol electricity from Timargara and in other words the consumers have been put at the mercy of WAPDA and PESCO officials once again.
Ironically, there was no public representative to take notice of after a decision was taken to shift the electricity from Golen Gol to Timargara without first ensuring the allocation of 35 MW for Chitral as approved by the former prime minister. This was despite the fact that all machinery and equipment had been installed at the grid station in Juti Lasht for the distribution of the 35 MW within Chitral without transmitting it to the national grid.
This dawned upon the locals only when Chitral again started experiencing hours-long outages and the officials concerned passed the buck to each other. The town and nearby areas remain without power after the recent snowfall apparently due to faults in the transmission lines from Timargara as happened in the past.
Speaking at a press conference, local leaders of the PPP on Thursday criticized the public representatives of Chitral and the PTI government. They said under a conspiracy the MNA, three MPAs and the district nazim had deprived the people of Chitral of their legal right to the electricity produced at Golen Gol. They said this was a daylight robbery of the right of Chitral which would not be tolerated.