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Ex-MNA’s efforts bear fruit, power crisis near end

Action plan ready to resolve power crisis in Upper Chitral

PESHAWAR: An action plan was agreed upon among the governor of KP, the federal minister for power and political representatives of Chitral to resolve the power crisis in PEDO-administered areas of Upper Chitral.

The development to resolve the electricity issue in Upper Chitral for good comes through special efforts of former MNA Shahzada Iftikharuddin.

According to the action plan, available with ChitralToday, the billing system for the PEDO areas will be exactly the same as in the jurisdiction of PESCO (Lower Chitral). PEDO will adopt the billing software of PESCO for its own consumers.

Moreover, PEDO will start collecting individual electricity bills on the same tariff which is being applied by PESCO for its consumers.  The new regime will be effective from February 1, 2023, it added.

PEDO will apply for registration to PESCO and the latter will apply the basket price as determined by NEPRA.

PESCO will also devise a development plan in consultation with the provincial government for the establishment of a grid station and laying of a 11 KV line in the jurisdiction of PEDO (Upper Chitral) in two months.

In order to resolve the issue of receivables between the two power utilities – PESCO and PEDO – the Power Division will notify a committee which will come up with its recommendations in one month.

It may be noted that due to a row between the two organizations, Upper Chitral has been without electricity even after the commissioning of the 108 megawatt Golen Gol powerhouse five years ago.

Despite repeated protests by the people of the district and assurances by government and elected representatives, the power crisis could not be resolved.

The latest development to resolve the issue for good comes through the special efforts of former MNA Shahzada Iftikharuddin who led a delegation of PML-N Chitral and held a meeting with Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif in Islamabad two days ago and apprised him of the issue being faced by the people of the area.

The prime minister directed the authorities concerned to resolve the power crisis in Chitral on a priority basis which led to the meeting called by the governor of KP today in which the federal minister for power was also invited. Shahzada Iftikhar gave a detailed briefing on the power crisis and steps to be taken for its resolution that led to the signing of the action plan. 

Moreover, social activists and youth under the platform of Tehreek Tahafuz-e-Haqoq Chitral, headed by Pir Mukhtar, have been protesting against the power crisis, poor condition of roads and other issues in Chitral.

Power crisis in Chitral town and other areas of Lower Chitral was resolved after the Golen Gol powerhouse was operationalized in 2018 when Shahzada Iftikhar was the MNA.

“It is a matter of pride for the locals in particular and the nation in general that the whole Chitral will have almost double of its total electricity requirement that is about 20MW. The residents of Chitral, Upper Chitral and Drosh, have celebrated the event since they spent the first day without loadshedding,” WAPDA Chairman retired Lt Gen Muzammil Hussain had stated at that time.

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