Everyone wants Golen Electricity: What happened to Micro hydels?

Chitral: With the the 107 MW Golen hydel power station going into operation, every one all over Chitral from Yarkhun to Laspur to Terich to Arandu is head over heals to get power connection from this source.? One wonders whatsoever happened to the scores of micro hydel projects put up by NGOs in remote parts of Chitral? Are these micro power plants insufficient or inefficient? If not why are people in areas with these micro plants asking for connection to the main power station.? A study needs to be conducted as to whether on what the NGOs are spending money is really worth the money? .. CN report, 15 Feb 2018

3 thoughts on “Everyone wants Golen Electricity: What happened to Micro hydels?

  1. A pertinent issue has been highlighted. No doubt AKRSP, CADP, and SRSP have invested huge sums in the construction of micro power plants in Chitral. But irony is that general public of those particular areas have been facing difficulties, giving away personal cash and manual labour contribution. In my Village Raman of Laspur 14 crore rupees have been invested on micro Hydel power by AKRSP, however the result is that on three occasions the hydel power unit has been badly damaged. The irony is that nobody is highlighting its causes and remedies. Keeping this in view a study and inquiry should be conducted as to whether the money is being spent judiciously on these projects or other wise.

  2. A really important issue pertaining to effective utilisation of scarce financial resources for the development of Chitral has been highlighted. The reason why communities are demanding electricity from Golen Gol is that it is efficient and is managed by WAPDA and government. While the local powerhouses are supposed to be managed on long-term basis by the communities themselves. It is quite difficult rather impossible for local communities to run and manage a reasonable capacity powerhouse on on-going basis. Another reason why the communities are seeking electricity from Golen Gol is because the local powerhouses are not enough for heating and cooking purposes and are fit only for dim lighting. Another issue with the RSPs constructed powerhouses is that they often face with technical and mechanical faults which forces the communities to come up for labour and cash contribution to repair and run the facility as highlighted by Mr. Wali Mohammad Khan. There was a time when AKRSP and SRSP were justified in constructing small powerhouses in different parts of Chitral to provide at least minimal electricity to the communities. However, after the commencement of work at mega Golen Gol project, the RSPs should not have gone for construction of more powerhouses. After commencement of work at Golen Gol, the AKRSP has commenced work on 13 powerhouses in Upper Chitral while six are being constructed by SRSP in Upper Chitral. The cost of these powerhouses range from 40 million to 140 million each. Is it really possible for poor communities to run and manage these powerhouses on self-help basis in the long run paying cash and free labour? What if the Golen Gol power is not given to the people of Upper Chitral because of these powerhouses and these powerhouses ran into difficulties after few years or communities fail to manage the same? In some powerhouses breakdown and faults have been reported well before their operations and completion status of these powerhouses is also far beyond their agreed timeline. Chitral News has highlighted a very important issue of duplication and overlapping of developmental efforts in Chitral.

  3. Most micro hydel projects have either failed or are declared substandard.by the users. NGOs should take up only one sector of development at a time and fully focus on it instead of frittering the money away here and there. Village organisations, like VCCS, CDNs etc have not been of much use except brought corruption down to the village level. Instead, if all the resources of an NGO are spent on one sector e.g Education, the result can be substantial and far reaching. Similarly the other NGO can take up health care as a challenge and concentrate on it instead of jumping between trivial projects of no consequence.

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