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Jirga demands powerhouse privatisation

Chitral-- A grand Jirga  comprising of nominated representatives from all  mosques of Chitral town demanded privatization of the under performing powerhouse of the town immediately. The Jirga  presided over by Wg Cdr (r) Fardad Ali Shah, Chairman Citizens Electricity Restoration Committee was attended by elders and office bearers of all political parties and prominent citizens. Participants of the meeting  were unanimous in their opinion on the one point agenda ie  that WAPDA is a constant nuisance for the people of Chitral town and the only way out of a perpetual power crisis was to privatise the power production and distribution in Chitral. Participants said WAPDA was operating one megawatt power station with 150 employees all of whom along with the retired employees were taking free electricity indiscriminately from the power house thus eating up almost 50 percent of produced power free.. The WAPDA employees are not willing to move an inch without bribe said one participant. On the other hand a private party is running a similar one megawatt power house at Ayun efficiently with only 20 employees.


Participants pointed out that after the recent floods the damaged private private power house was repaired in 48 hours but WAPDA has not yet even attended  to two poles fallen down during the flood even after a lapse of six days. Participants said WAPDA was not mandated to run power houses below 8 Mw and  it's presence in Chitral is illegal, therefore it must immediately wind up from here and hand over the powerhouse to any private party willing to undertake its responsibility and there are many such parties willing they said. An old man showed a monthly bill of Rs 2500 at a time when people are getting on average one hour electricity in 36 hours. The Jirga warned any one backing corruption in lieu of petty favours and said such people should fear God. The Jirga threatened that if the govt does not yield to the wishes of the people of taking out the powerhouse from the clutches of WAPDA, at the eraliest, then it would be responsible for any untoward incident in this regard..--CN report, 12 Aug 10


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