Golen electricity needs to be subsidized, else will sour the broth
24 Jan, 2018
Chitral : Electricity supply from the Golen power house has ushered a new era of a decent electric facility to Chitral, causing jubilation all over. This honeymoon joy may however not last long, turning sour when the consumers having used the electricity to warm their homes and cook food receive their first bill.
The WAPDA tariff for Chitral is extremely exaggerated i.e upto Rs 16 per unit, as against electricity rates in power producing areas like Dargai, Malakand, Mangla , Warsak, Gilgit Baltistan, etc, where the concessional tariff is as low as Rs 1 per unit. If Chitralis do not get rebated electricity, majority consumers would be unable to continue using electricity to the full and the authorities will then make it an excuse and divert the surplus power to down districts. A similar case has happened in Power village of upper Chitral where the AKRSP constructed an 800 KW power plant on commercial basis and set the rate at Rs 6 per unit. After getting their first bills, the erstwhile happy residents were shocked, and stopped using the electricity to the full with the result that most generated power is being wasted due to being un-affordable to the people.
The case of PIA flights can be taken as an example to clarify this point further. Earlier when the fares were low, PIA flights would operate jam packed. Suddenly the PIA increased fares manifold due to which people stopped flying and the PIA reduced the flights from daily to twice a week schedule on the pretext of diminished demand.
It is important that Chitral’s political leaders particularly the MNA, the District Nazim, the two MPAs should take up this issue on priority basis. Shahzada Siraj UlMulk who is vehemently advocating the case for reduction in power tarrif for Chitral, despite having his personal powerhouse, says, people do not understand gravity of the situation and before things settle down for the worse, we must strive to get our due right (royalty) from the government in the form of rebated electricity tariff like other power producing districts. .. CN report, 24 Jan 2018