Power outage: Tenth day of darkness for 200 villages

Authority claims complete repair will take months


MA Mir March 28, 2016
Authority claims complete repair will take months. PHOTO: REUTERS

MUZAFFARABAD: The Power Development Organisation has failed to restore electricity to the Khatai Hydel Power Project for the last 10 days. The 2.3-megawatt mini-hydel power house, situated in Hattian Bala, supplies electricity to more than 200 villages of Jhelum Valley was damaged by the recent torrential rains.

Recent landslides damaged the main portion of the 120-foot-long water channel supplying the power station.

“More than 100,000 inhabitants of 200 villages in five Union Councils of Jhelum Valley are reeling under darkness for the last eight days,” said Nazir Ahmad, a resident of Gojar Bandi.

Local people from Chinari, Chakothi, Chakhama, and Khilhana have accused the PDO delaying the restoration of electricity to the area.

“The continuous power outage has badly affected business activities in the area. Students are the main victims of the long breakdown,” said Chinari Raza Khan, another angry resident. Traders in the area have appealed to AJK’s prime minister and the chief secretary to take notice of the issue and bring responsible officials to account.

PDO spokesperson Khalid Zargar said two of the organisation’s teams have been working for the last eight days to restore power to the region. He also claimed reconstruction and repair work at the damaged water channel will take one weak at the least.

“After 5 to 7 days, we will succeed in making the power house operational at an emergency level to restore electricity to the area. Complete repair to the damaged water channel however will take months,” Zargar added.

Published in The Express Tribune, March 28th,  2016.

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