The building of a hydro powerhouse in a village in Lotkoh that won laurels for the cluster members was demolished by some selfish elements in connivance with the officials of the AKRSP and PEDO without taking the cluster members on board.
This has created a sense of resentment in the whole area. The 50 KW powerhouse was initially established at Yurjogh in the year 1995 through financial and technical assistance of the AKRSP. The construction work was carried out by the community members on a self-help basis. The powerhouse catered to the 320 households of the area. In 2012, another powerhouse (150KW) was built at Thonik village through the cooperation of the AKRSP from which 22 houses of eight small villages are benefiting.
A generator-based powerhouse set up at Droshp by the government also supplies power for a few hours to the area. Early this year, the AKRSP won bids floated by the KP government for the construction of scores of mini-hydel powerhouses in Chitral and some other districts.
The funds allocated by the provincial government were to be utilized for the establishment of mini-hydel powerhouses in such villages which had no powerhouses. The project also did not envisage the replacement of any old powerhouse. Yurjogh already had three power stations, two owned by the cluster organizations and one by the government. One of the two community-owned powerhouses (50KV) was demolished while the other (150KV) is still functional and provides electricity to the villages of Sanik upper and lower, Yurjogh and Thonik etc.
The dispute over the setting up of a new power station started when the powerhouse building at Yurjogh was demolished by handful of local people without taking all the 22 cluster members into confidence. The members of the clusters are of the view that the land and the building of the demolished power station is the property of all the clusters and it cannot be used by a few cluster members or any organization. They also say that if the new powerhouse funded by the government is built at the site of the old powerhouse, it should cater to all the 22 clusters.
And if anyone wants to get a new powerhouse built in the village, they should select a new site for it. The people of the villages have demanded that the KP chief minister and other authorities concerned should order an inquiry into the matter so that the funds allocated for the project could be used for the benefit of all the clusters instead of being utilized by a few that too encroaching on the property of the residents.