ISLAMABAD: The new head of the Board of Directors of Yadgar Utility Company that runs the 850 megawatt powerhouse in Pavur village of Yarkhun is unable to start work as the AKRSP Chitral is not notifying his election.
On Oct 12 this year, the head of the company was replaced with Mir Baiz Khan of Patrangaz village through a secret balloting by 1,400 out of the total 1,542 shareholders of the Yadgar Utility Company. This was done under an agreement reached at by the shareholders and officials of the Aga Khan Rural Support Programme (AKRSP) on Sept 17, 2019.
In the election, Mir Baiz Khan and Azeem Khan were elected as directors of the company. Mir Baiz Khan was also elected as chairman and Azeem Khan as the vice chairman of the local cluster.
The powerhouse was established through funds provided by Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) under the supervision of the AKRSP in 2017. It provides electricity to scores of villages.
Since last year, the residents of the villages had been demanding replacement of the head of the BOD but the latter was not ready to step down leading to an impasse. A peace committee consisting of notables from different villages was constituted which after consultation with the AKRSP decided to hold a secret balloting to elect two directors of the company.
The peace committee was also mandated to carry out accountability on the basis of the allegations of embezzlement in the company.
Through the September agreement, it was decided that there would be an election to elect the head of the BOD followed by an accountability to ascertain allegations of the members that funds amounting to millions of rupees, including the monthly bills paid by the consumers, had been misused.
Talking to ChitralToday on phone, Mr Mir Baiz Khan said the AKRSP Chitral was not ready to issue notification about their election. As a result, they could start working and the issue remained unresolved.
He said AKRSP officials were delaying the notification against the mandate of the local people and in violation of the agreement of Sept 17.
He said when he approached the local administration in Booni on Dec 5 seeking help to resolve the issue, he was illegally detained.
He said he and Mr Raza from Meragram No 2, who is a member of the peace committee, were siting in the office of assistant commissioner Muazzam Khan and the latter was patiently listening to their complaints when Assistant Commissioner Riaz Khan and AAC Mukaram Khan along with tehsildar Rab Nawaz Khan entered the office and snatched our mobile phones.
“They telephoned the SDPO and ordered him to come and detain us in the police station and send us to D.I. Khan jail tomorrow,” he alleged.
He said additional SHO Booni Sirajuddin later took them to the police station Booni and put them behind bars.
“The police detained us for eight hours without any complaint or any case registered against us. ” Mr Khan said they were released only after people of Yarkhun held a protest demonstration against their illegal detention in Bang village.
He called upon the higher authorities of the government to take notice of the highhandedness of the officials.
He also demanded that the AKRSP should order its Chitral office to issue the notification without any further delay otherwise people of Yarkhun would be forced to launch protest demonstrations.