Chitral Today
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Chitral set to see revolution in telecom coverage: MNA

ISLAMABAD, Oct 3: The Ministry of Telecom and IT has been directed by the prime minister to bring Chitral under the full telecom coverage. The prime minister issued the directions on the request of MNA Shahzada Iftikharuddin. “This is a major news for all the residents of Chitral and promises 100% telecom coverage for the entire Chitral district from Ishkarwaz Broghul in the north to Arandu Gol in the extreme south not to mention Rech, Terich, Khot, Melp and all areas of Torkhow, Mulkhow, Kuh, Drosh, Garam Chashma and, in fact, entire Chitral,” said the MNA on Thursday. The contract is expected to be signed and finalized by the end of October for the mobile towers and will be completed by the end of 2015.  It must be noted that the Universal Services Fund (USF) will fund this initiative that promises Chitral’s rapid enntry into the IT age. The coverage will extend far beyond the areas for instance a mobile tower at one site is sufficient to provide services in all adjoining areas: The new contract will be finaliized by mid-October and the bids are expected to be opened around 22nd October if there were no unexpected delays. Three companies i.e. Mobilink, Telenor and Warid are participating in the new bid and the winning company will be awarded the new contract and will be mandated to complete the Installation by end of 2015. Telenor has also been asked by the government to activate its towers installed in 2008 and the company will activate those towers in four phases. However, contract for the new fibre optic will be finalized sometimes by end of November and that work shall be done by Mobilink.  The new fiber optic that will pass through Lowari Tunnel (as NHA has now given its consent) will cover the major areas of Drosh, Chitral, Garam Chashma, Booni, Kosht and Mastuj and all areas that lay inbetween. The contract will be finalized by end of November 2014. But the opportunities it will open up all over Chitral will be enormous particularly in all fields i.e. education, distance learning, telemedicine, tele-centers and bringing services such as ID cards, NADRA offices, birth and death certificates and much more such as a doctor sitting abroad or in other cities of Pakistan being able to supervise an operation taking place in Booni, Drosh, Garam Chasha, Shagram or Mastuj. Technology has many answers to today’s problems particularly in a place like Chitral which will undergo a lot of positive change. “I consider this to be the biggest Eid gift to the people of Chitral particularly the big news that high speed fibre optic contract will also be finalized by end of November for which Mobilink has already been awarded the contract by USF,” said the MNA. He added that he had been trying his level best for the broadband and new mobile towers for the last 18 months and finally the breakthrough was made possible after approaching Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. Mobile Towers USF 55]]>

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7 Comments
  1. abdullah says

    Dear Shahpar: It would be really nice if you could inform us of the strategic plans of different government departments, autonomous bodies and NGOs so that the intelligent MNA does not take credit for them and we give credit to our farsighted brother Shahpar who finds out all these wonderful strategic plans in all the different crevices. Not long ago we remember that the Lowari tunnel an ongoing project was deprived of its funding which was diverted to political constituencies in Multan. No great strategic plan or even a sacred document like the budget was treated as sacrosanct when someone wanted to pinch the funds. So my dear Shahpar its the duty of the MNA to be vigilant to protect our rights and if he is being so all praise to him for upholding the duties of his office.

  2. Shahpar says

    If you want to live in a dream, no one can wake you up. Every telecom company contributes an annual fund to USF under their license and USF is mandated to develop rural connectivity. Until 2006 USF was not doing anything and was lying on the fund. Telecom companies then approached PTA and Ministry of IT that if USF is not going to use that fund we are not going to contribute any more. Thus USF was forced to get active and since then they have been working on rural connectivity.
    Who pushed the PM for Mobile network for Chitral, Booni, Parwak, Mastuj and Laspur? The respected MNA was not there at that time to push for it, then how did it happen. PTCL WLL is working in almost 60% of rural areas of chitral since long, who pushed for that? Iftikharudin?
    On September 16 in a meeting of Board of Directors, USF approved 730 Km long fiber connectivity in all over KPK. This plan incldues some very remote tehsils of Chaitral, Shanghla, Lower Dir, Buner and other remote and undeveloped districts.
    MNA has started a new trend this time around. He gets sense of things that would happen in future and starts writing letters to everyone asking for that, knowing that eventually it would happen. This is perhaps the easiest way to take credit.

  3. Muhammad Khan, Peshawar says

    Very sad to hear such a comment against a man who is doing whatever is possible. Ispa Chetrari kiawat d beh no bosi ispa muxa haya kia k jarasim sher na haya ispa berbadio nishani wa. The plan was there since 2002 when the mobile service providers were told to cover at least 80 percent rural areas in four years (till 2006). If this telecom facility is coming to Chitral it would be due to the efforts of the MNA otherwise it would be abandoned as it was left after installing towers in many areas in Chitral. Good job MNA we appreciate you.

  4. Shah Karez says

    Even if this was in their strategic plan for 2014 someone pushed it and it is going to be a reality. Thanks a lot Shahzada Iftikhar for the much needed good work. We also know that you have moved WAPDA authorities to improve the status of Chitral Powerhouse and to gain 30 MW for Chitral from the Golengole Hydo Power Project. Keep up the struggle we are expecting much more from your able leadership. Kindly pushthe concerned authorites for early completion of Lowari Tunnel and the highway leading to Shandur not to speak of the internal road network. We also request the two worthy MPAs and leaders of all other parties to work in a team for the betterment of the physical infrastructure of Chitral irrespective of their political affiliations. I guess Chitral’s deprivation demands unity in our ranks and file.

  5. Issa Khan Momi says

    It might possible that USF had plan to do all these in 2014 but we cannot deny the efforts of MNA. I don’t know he is doing all these for his political goodwill or he really wants to develop Chitral and Chitralis, I am an eye witness of his efforts especially for this job, he was trying his best and he did it. I have no political engagement or other relations with the MNA but as per my understanding he is an energetic, educated, sober and moreover he is very positive especially towards the issues of health, communication and education of Chitral.
    Let all these aside it is is really good news for all Chitralis especially for the people who don’t have even one network. Thanks all who made this possible.

  6. Afrasiyab Khan says

    Agree with Shahpar, This was an old plan of the telecom companies to do business in Chitral. The MNA sounds more like a Public Relations Officer of Telenor than MNA.

  7. Shahpar says

    I will write about this in detail but just for a food for thought and to all learned Chitrali brothers who would like to know the reality here is a link that you should read http://www.usf.org.pk/FCKeditor/editor/filemanager/connectors/aspx/UserFiles/resources/ofc/OFCKPK-Feb14/KPK_OFC_Web.pdf
    Internet and voice connectivity of all these Tehsils that the MNA is claiming to have achieved in 18 months is already in USF 2014 strategic plan released in February 2014.
    I will also request Dear editor to contact Mr, Syed Asif Kamal, Chief Technical Officer of USF at 051-9212409 or asif.kamal@usf.org.pk, to authenticate claims of MNA. The claims of MNA must be authenticated.

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