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