KPK govt urged to launch 'Area development programme' for Chitral

PESHAWAR, Feb. 26: Community leaders and civil society activists from Chitral asked government to provide 30 megawatts of electricity from under- construction Golen Gol hydel power project to people of the district. SONY DSCAddressing a press conference at the Peshawar Press Club (PPC), local elders and office-bearers of Chitral Community Development Network (CCDN) shared with mediapersons the joint declaration of dialogue on private-public private partnership at Peshawar Garrison Services Club held on Tuesday. The CCDN chairman and former Yarkhun nazim Mohammad Wazir Khan, demanded that the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government should initiate Area Development Programme from provincial funds for Chitral to address its poverty and specific geographic needs. He said about 30 megawatts of electricity should be provided to local population from the Golen Gol hydropower project at subsidized rates to protect forests of Chitral which were being cut for use as firewood in the absence of electricity in the area. “Government should engage Local Support Organizations (LSOs) in planning and development process initiated by government and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in the district to bring greater efficiency to in resource mobilization and to minimize duplication,” he said. He added that LSOs should be made center of all development activities. He also called for recognizing local people rights on mineral resources of the district and said that due diligence should be paid in development of mineral sector. He also called for provision of funds for tapping cultural festivals of Chitral, promotion of local tourism industry and conservation of heritage and cultural sites. “All calendar events should be arranged in coordination with local communities to preserve local culture and increase income generation opportunities,” he added. Former tehsil nazim Chitral, Sartaj Ahmed Khan at this occasion said that provision of subsidized electricity from Golen Gol was very necessary to decrease pressure from region’s scarce forests. He said that government was responsible for merciless felling of district precious forests and now to avoid further thinning of forest cover government should provide about 30 megawatts to electricity to locals from under construction Golen Gol project. Sartaj said that government has initiated area development funds in Swat, Abbotabad and Malakand and similar initiative was a need of the day for the people of Chitral. He said that a single company had been made owner of whole district’s mineral wealth and called for acknowledging local people’s right over their resources. He said that Chitral had huge tourism, mineral and hydro potential, which needed to be tapped for the benefit of local population. “10 percent share of forest royalty should be given to local communities,” he added.]]>

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