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22 March 2019

No electricity! Residents in Bropze Valley Protest

Chitral -- Residents of Bropze and the adjoining areas staged a protest gathering against a private contractor, Muhammad Khan, who runs a micro hydro power project.The gathering was chaired by Movlana Abdul Akber Chitral, former MNA Chitral. Protestors maintain that Bropze and adjoining areas are deprived of electricity for the last one month due to the fact that the private contractor has failed to restore his hydropower project due to minor damages to the Water Channel in the recent flash floods.

The National Electrice Power Regulatory Authority(NEPRA) of KPK had issued a No Objection Certificate (NOC) to this particular individual with a condition that the provision of electricity shall be ensured at all times. This private contractor on one hand has cut off the electricity and on the other hand has sent high electricity bills to the residents, the protestors said.

The contractor's primary source of income to maintain the hydro project is government loans and thus far he has taken 47.5 million Pakistani rupees from Bank of Khyber.The situation of the electricity was not any good and is now completely shut off. The protesters were asking the government to hold this person accountable. They warned of coming on the streets if Mr. Muhammad Khan is not made to restore the electricity within a stipulated deadline.

Speakers on the occasion claimed that Mr. Muhammad Khan is wandering around government officials to get more NOCs for additional hydro projects and the public would not let it  happened due to the fact the man is not efficient enough for the job. Neither he has proper equipment nor has he any contingency plans in times of natural calamities such as flash floods. 

Through a unanimous resolution they demanded from district administration, provincial government and NEPRA to hold Muhammad Khan responsible for restoring electricity They also demanded from federal ministry of water and power that 106 Megawatt hydro power house is about to complete at Golaingoal but the power supply will be connected at Temergara Grid station directly. Residents say that they oppose such decision. Instead, they demanded for subsidized 30 megawatt electricity to Chitral.

Those who spoke on the occasion were Amirul Mulk president of All government employees coordination council, Jihangir president of Broze village conservation committee, Sher Abdul, Rahmat Azam, Noor Ahmad Khan Charwelo, Balinas of JUI-F, Haji Abdul Rehman president MQM Chitral and Maulana Abdul Akbar Chitrali of Jamati Islami.

A large number of people from the entire valley attended the protest gathering.The protest gathering disbursed peacefully

Gull Hammad Farooqui has contributed to this story from Chitral Pakistan
Photo Credits: 
G.H.Farooqui © 2010, Pakistan