CHITRAL: Minister for Irrigation Mahmood Khan unveiled a two megawatt micro hydropower project (MHP) that will benefit some 13,000 houses in Chitral.
A large number of locals gathered for the launch of the Birmugh Golain Hydro Project which is supposed to be completed in nine months. It was initiated by Sarhad Rural Support Programme (SRSP) under the EU PEACE Project. Speaking on the occasion, Khan said the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf understood issues faced by the public and was working towards eradicating them in a sensible manner.
He said the EU plays a tremendous role in helping K-P tackle problems such as the energy crisis. Khan announced several irrigation schemes for Chitral district which would enable cultivation on 22,000 acres of land. “PTI is ready to fill the gaps left by previous governments,” he said. “The administration has tracked the progress of all institutions which will work solely for the benefit of locals.”
SRSP CEO Masoodul Mulk said the programme was not a power producing entity, but was helping local communities work collectively to improve their own lives. “The MHP will be a social enterprise and its earnings will be spent on the welfare of local communities,” he said. He also thanked the provincial and federal government for supporting such initiatives.
On the occasion, MPA Saleem Khan claimed Chitral could produce enough electricity to power the whole country through its plentiful water resources. “Luckily, these water resources will be exploited and residents of the MHP’s target areas will get electricity 24 hours a day,” he said.
Chitral Power Committee President Hayatullah said the 2MW project will power around 13,000 households. He added it was the largest megaproject undertaken by an NGO in Chitral. “We have long struggled for electricity in Chitral and knocked on every door,” he said. “At a cost of Rs263 million, the project will be equipped with state-of-the-art technology and its turbine will be imported from China.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 18th, 2015.