CHITRAL, Jan 30: After completion, the 108 megawatts Golen Gol hydropower project will usher in a “green revolution” in the area. This was stated by Project Director Khan Mohammad while briefing MNA Chitral Shahzada Iftikharuddin and other local leaders at a function in Koghuzi. He said about 10 cusecs of water would be spared from the spellways which would be sufficient to irrigate 400 acres of barren land in the area. Besides, from the water channel extra water would be flowing which can operate an additional micro-hydropower station of one to 1.5 megawatts. He said excavation work on the tunnel of the water channel to the powerhouse had been completed and the remaining work will complete by August 2015. He said preliminary requirements had been completed already and the remaining work will also be finished very soon because two more contractors were joining the work. About 25 people will be recruited from the local area and in other sector local people would be given preferences in employment as compensation for their land. He said some technical staff would be hired from down districts if they were not available in the area. Abdul Wali Advocate, Akhunzadea Rahmatullah, Sharif Hussain, former MPA Abdul Rehman, and other people on the occasion demanded 30 megawatt electricity from the powerhouse for the Chitral district. They said if enough electricity was provided to Chitral it would not only resolve the power crisis but would also check cutting of trees for use as firewood. They also demanded that the compensation rate for the land being sued for the switch yard of the powerhouse should be increased. They also urged Wapda high-up to select another suitable place for this purpose to save the beauty of Koghuzi. Chris Ashdown, the Project Manager, and Ricardo Croissant, the Chief Resident Engineer, also briefed the participants on technical aspects of the project.
We were invited to the function by the project director but when we came here we were treated as third-class citizens. We were even not provided proper place and forced to sit on the dusty ground. On the other hand, the Wapda employees, the hosts, took the chairs. This is against the tradition of Chitral, complained residents of Koghuzi at the function.They also complained that their land had been acquired by Wapda or the project but payment was still pending. It was also revealed that a staff colony, including a mosque, school, hospital building and flats, had been completed two years back but Wapda had still not taken over its charge although physically its employees had occupied the colony and were living there. The Wapda authorities have not taken the colony over because the contractor who built it had not yet been paid an outstanding amount of Rs500. Speaking on the occasion, MNA Shahzada Iftikharuddin said: “We do not want to repeat the Tarbela Dam experience where the affected people are still running from pillar to post for the payment of the compensation for their alnd.” He also announced on behalf of the chief executive officer of SRSP stated that a micro-hydropower house would also be established in Koghuzi. The MNA said Chitral had rich potential for the production of hydropower to meet even the energy requirements of the whole country. He said a marble city had been approved for Chitral and after completion of this powerhouse Chitral will be declared an industrial zone. He said Chitral had the potential of producing 15,000 megawatts of hydropower. Some small hydropower houses have been approved, he added. Later, the MNA visited the under-construction water reserves and the channel and expressed his satisfaction on the progress of work at the site. A large number of people belonging to all walks of were also present on the occasion.]]>