As the government failed to take any concrete steps to end the power crisis, representatives of the Tehreek, including Mukhtar Ahmed Lal, Mir Ayub, Rehmat Salam, Muhammad Pervez Lal, Eidi Ali, Sultan Nigah, Shahabuddin, Nadir Jang Lal, Sardar Ahmed, Wazir Shah and Hyder Ahmed, at a press conference in Chitral town on Friday announced that the people of Upper Chitral would march towards Golen Gol on April 3 and stage a sit-in there.
CHITRAL: The people of Upper Chitral have finally decided to go ahead with a long march from Booni to Golen Gol on April 3 against non-provision of electricity from the 108 megawatt powerhouse to their area.
Earlier, under the platform of Tehreek Huqooq-e-Awam, the 21,000 power consumers held protest demonstrations in Parwak, Torkhow, Mulkhow and Booni and announced to hold a long march to Golen Gol on March 15.
But on the assurance of MNA Abdul Akbar that the issue would be resolved within a month the Tehreek had postponed the protest march.
They said under a well-hatched conspiracy Peshawar Electric Supply Company (PESCO) and Pakhtunkhwa Energy Development Organization (PEDO) had kept the whole Upper Chitral of the basic facility of electricity even after the Golen Gol power station was made operation last year.
They said the two power utility departments were making lame excuses such as citing lack of water in the hydro power station and non-installation of seven megawatt transformer for the power crisis.
They said last year there was less water due to scant rainfall and a heavy transformer was not available but even then power was being supplied to Upper Chitral without interruptions.
This meant the issue is not due to lack of water or transformers but rifts over tariffs etc., between PESCO and PEDO due which the people of Upper Chitral are being made the scapegoat.
They said the consumers had only one demand of providing electricity to the area on a permanent basis. But the government departments have adopted a callous attitude to fulfill the genuine demand forcing the people to resort to the protest move.
They also said the 108 megawatt Golen Gol power station completed at a cost of over Rs35 billion rupees was actually producing only eight MW which raised many questions.
In reply to a question, they said if the KP minister concerned or any responsible officer gives an assurance in writing that the issue would be resolved within a specific time frame, the long march deadline of April 3 can be extended.
(Reporter: Bashir Hussain Azad).