Villagers want to rid of generator provided by Benazir

BREP, July 10: Within the last about two decades, a revolution of sort has occurred in the remote villages of Chitral. And that is in the field of power generation. benazirAs power outages have become the most crippling issue all over the country and the government seems unable to tackle it at the moment, here are villages in upper Chitral which in most cases have surplus electricity. Among these villages are Brep, Istach, Dizg, Khruzg, Marting, Phashk, Bang, Birzoz etc. where people are enjoying round-the-clock electricity. With this, purchase of appliances like fridges, deep freezers, irons, and fans has increased and these appliances are becoming a necessity in people’s life. The reason again is availability of cheap and uninterrupted electricity. Some NGOs have helped the local people in establishing small hydro powerhouses in almost all villages and now the communities are maintaining and running them on their own. In the early 1990s, the establishment of these powerhouses had not become so common. During the second tenure of Benazir Bhutto as prime minister, a powerful diesel generator was sanctioned for Brep village to provide electricity to the local people. As at that time, there was only a jeep track to the area, and the people expanded the road voluntarily from Booni to Brep (about 75 kilometres) so that the generator could be brought to the village in a truck. The local residents also contributed money to build a room for the generator after purchasing a piece of land. In 1995, the generator was at last brought to the area but after that, neither the government provided any expertise nor fuel to run the generator. Now as the village is self-sufficient in cheap electricity being generated in Grover village, the generator has become a headache for the area. The residents of the villages told that the generator was getting rust and its spare parts were even being stolen away. They said that as they no more needed this machine and neither was it of any use for them, the government better take it away to be utilized somewhere else. It may be noted that a similar generator was also provided to Mastuj which also met the same fate as that of Brep.–S. Nazir Hussain]]>

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