Electricity versus gas, which suits Chitral better?

13 Feb, 2018

Chitral .. The implementation of project for provision of Liquid Petroleum Gas to Chitral is in full swing. There is no doubt about the good intention of those who have worked hard to bring the facility to Chitral.

This has come about the same time when Chitral has started producing abundant electricity not only for it’s own use but also to be exported out of the district. The point which questions the mind is whether locally produced electricity is more feasible to meet the energy needs of Chitral or imported gas a better deal.

If we look back three decades when Nusrat Bhutto was elected MNA from Chitral, she  was very eager to oblige Chitralis in return. When she asked what do they want, the leaders of the time said they wanted diesel generators to meet the electricity short fall. Diesel generators were airlifted in a jiffy and started to operate right away making the people feel happy. However not for long, as the generators were soon halted in their track due diesel being too expensive to operate. Ever since, these generators can be seen rotting at different venues in Chitral.

Then, another ‘great service’ to Chitral was done when a certain chief minister announced supply of electricity to Chitral from the main grid over the Lowari pass. It was clearly a case of taking coal to New Castle and every one is aware of it’s fate.

Now, though in undoubtedly good faith LPG gas stations are being set up in Chitral, but the question arises from where will the gas come to fill these stations?. From abroad of course! For how long will the government be able to sustain this baggage facility to Chitralis? It will definitely mean a lot of money constantly being spent on Chitral and if a ‘not so benign’ government comes into power, it will sever the continuity.

What if this huge amount of money is spent on subsidizing electricity for Chitral (which is locally produced and available in abundance). What is it that electricity cannot do that gas can do? except that electricity is clean energy and cannot produce pollution.

Whereas efforts towards solution of Chitral’s problems are acknowledged and appreciated but we must objectively think for the long term feasibility of projects. Clean energy via electricity is a blessing Chitral has been gifted with. Let us make the best of it instead of going for pollutants like LPG or LNG or whatever. .. CN report, 13 Feb 2018

4 Comments

  • Tehmas Khan says:

    The government should then hire responsible individuals who can ensure the sustainability of a project and whether LPG or LNG is suitable for people who are already addicted to the pollution. At least let the national parks stay clean and preserved for the good.

  • Brig (R) Khush Muhammad Khan says:

    Electricity versus Gas? It is not the question of Either/Or, as both the sources of energy are very much needed by Chitral for various purposes. One source can surely supplement the other but cannot substitute it altogether. Let Chitral have both of them to enjoy the benefits. The question of sustainability of LPG project, as raised in CN report, is of immense significance. Let’s hope that our political leadership does the utmost to serve the best interests of the people of Chitral.

    • Wg Cdr (r) Fardad Ali Shah says:

      Brigadier sahib,
      Reference to your observation on the report, Just for the sake of discussion, could you point out any one function that is performed by LPG which electric power can not perform. I feel Electricity should be complemented with more electricity instead of LPG. The only argument against going all electric could be that it is considered relatively expensive. However in Chitral electricity is an indigenous produce available in abundance and has potential for exponential increase. As regarding the cost, I’m sure our public representatives specially our efficient MNA will work to get the price rebated as has been done in other electricity producing areas. The cost to be incurred on LPG provision and the subsidy given on it if diverted towards electricity subsidization can further reduce the cost of electric power.
      As you well know, fossil fuel is gradually being discarded world over. Germany, Norway, Iceland, Finland, Netherlands have already banned gas fuel and are using clean electric energy.
      Yes, if we did not have an option, gas would be welcome but we in Chitral are endowed with this profuse indigenous wealth in the form of hydel power. When we have this option in abundance why should we depend on Gas which will be carried to Chitral from distant lands. I really believe carrying gas to Chitral would be something like “carrying coal to Newcastle”.

  • M.Murad Khan says:

    It is true that electricity is clean and cheap energy but the supply can’t be trusted .our technical staff’s ability is known.Wapda staff’s irregularities are well known. While the LPG is a simple use able energy, which will be popular soon .