Solvable Electricity problem needs attention
9 Apr, 2009
Despite having a capacity to generate 4000 megawatts of hydro electricity, Chitral is plagued with an acute shortage of the commodity. At present the total electricity generation in the district including the AKRSP micro plants is not more than four megawatts, out of which not more than two mw is being supplied at any one time because of one technical problem or another in the power units. The ill conceived and poorly executed layout of transmission line from Tamergara to Chitral is out of service 70 percent of the time.
As power is becoming expensive by the day and the government is again resorting to the purchase of oil driven power from IPPS it would be unbearable for Chitralis to afford such kind of power from the WAPDA sources. The planned construction of the Golen Gole project (if at all it happens as it is lingering since decades), would be providing power at the WAPDA rates which are simply ridiculous and unbearable. AKRSP has only managed to construct micro power houses in some rural areas producing in kilowatts barely enough to light a couple of energy saving bulbs in a household. Some individuals in Chitral have taken initiative and are producing/constructing private hydel power stations of one Megawatt plus and providing electricity to people at much cheaper rates which is a positive trend, but this not enough.
The District government should initiate an autonomous project of constructing hydel power stations of minimum one Mw on every feasible nallah in Chitral and set up a ‘Chitral Electric Supply Corporation’ which should be independent of the WAPDA. This corporation should provide electricity to consumers at nominal rates (on no profit no loss basis) for not only lighting, but heating their homes, cooking and even setting up cottage industries. This should have been done long ago but even now if initiated would benefit the district particularly when the Lowari tunnel will soon open to traffic and population/ power requirements of the district would increase.
As an immediate measure, the transmission wires from Timergira. made to pass over the Lowari could instead be pulled through the tunnel to avoid collapsing of poles every second day and wastage of government money plus cessation of avoidable inconvenience to the people.