Damage to Golen power station, bridges blamed on faulty design

Published on: 28/07/2019 | Comments: No comments 

The bridge in Golen valley after being hit by the recent glacial lake outburst flood. ? Dawn
The bridge in Golen valley after being hit by the recent glacial lake outburst flood. ? Dawn

CHITRAL: The glacial lake outburst flood (Glof), which struck the Golen valley on the evening of July 7, has damaged the headworks of the 108MW Golen hydropower station, leading to its shutdown, thus exposing the technical fault and lack of proper planning by Wapda.

Five suspension bridges constructed by Wapda over the streams were also washed away along with a six-kilometre-long road, disconnecting the valley from rest of the district for four days.

The RCC bridges and the road were constructed three years ago as part of the hydropower project whose water channel has its headworks right in the middle of the valley.

The residents said Wapda engineers and planners utterly neglected the specific geographical features of the valley and their advices were always turned down whenever they wanted to share their experience with them.

Abdul Wali Khan Advocate, a former member of district council from the area, said destruction of roads and bridges coupled with the headworks of the power channel due to Glof showed design was faulty.

He said Wapda did not carry out study of the physical features of the valley which had large volumes of glacier in its highland with eight glacial lakes which had been declared sensitive by the environmentalists long ago.

?It was mega project of Rs15 billion whose feasibility study should have considered all the facts of the area?s topography,? he said.

Wali Khan said the locals had time and again expressed their reservations regarding the design and alignment of the road and the position of the headworks of the power house on the basis of their local knowledge but the arrogant engineers turned them down,? he said.

Hajeebullah Khan, an octogenarian of Bubaka village of the valley, said during his lifespan, he had witnessed three Glofs, including the recent one, which spelled more disaster to the agricultural lands, homes and fruit orchards than the earlier two because this time the low-lying bridges diverted the floodwater to the villages.

Rafiq Ahmed, a civil engineer working with an international organisation, said the spanning of all the bridges was too short to withstand the abnormal floods as it was evident that the abutment of all the five bridges had been washed away while the superstructure and decks remained intact.

He said the positioning of the headworks of the power channel was also defective due to its proximity to the stream and the designers had consigned to oblivion the hard fact that Glof would pass through the stream anytime.

Published in Dawn, July 27th, 2019

Booni micro hydro power project still awaiting completion

Published on: 22/11/2018 | Comments: 1 comment 

Dear Sir,
The 500-Kilowatt micro hydro power project in Booni launched by SRSP (Sarhad Rural Support Program) with the financial assistance of the European Union is still awaiting its completion. The project that was launched by the CEO SRSP a couple of years back and was expected to be completed within a period of one year as per the assurances of the CEO exceeded its timeframe due to obvious reasons. In the first place, the contract of the construction work was awarded to local contractors who caused unnecessary delay in the progress of the construction work as they lacked heavy machinery and efficient workforce to expedite the pace of work on the project. When enquired about the delay, the contractors would shift the blame onto the SRSP high-ups for withholding the release of funds on time as the reason for the inordinate delay.

Whatever the reasons, the abject failure of the SRSP to complete this project in time raises many questions on the performance and transparency of this organization. When a concerned engineer was approached for clarification, he told this writer that an additional amount of two crore rupees is needed to lay the transmission lines, which the organization is reluctant to provide at this point in time due to paucity of funds. It sounds ridiculous how an organization of the proportion of SRSP could fall short of such a meager amount of cash to complete a micro hydro power project.? The communities are persistently being deceived through gimmicks like these by the concerned quarters.? It?s worrying to note that the Tehreek-i-Huqooq Upper Chitral have called a protest demonstration against the apathy of the SRSP high ups.

In order to avoid any law and order situation, the CEO SRSP, honourable Shahzada Masood ulMulk should intervene to resolve the issue in the best interest of the local community. The residents of Booni always hold the CEO SRSP in high esteem and veneration as the proud son of Chitral. The chants of slogans in his praise must be echoing in his memory when they welcomed him with the warmth of heart at the Polo ground in Booni during the inaugural ceremony of the said project.? The CEO is once again appealed through the courtesy of your reputed online news to allay the apprehensions of the community by allocating the much needed funds for the completion of the project. This goodwill gesture if extended will earn for the CEO SRSP the prayers of the local community and will enhance the long-lasting respect in their hearts for him. .. Khalid Pervaiz, Booni, Chitral 22 Nov 2018

?Loadshedding may damage Golen Gol power generation unit?

Published on: 04/06/2018 | Comments: No comments 

.. by Zahiruddin

CHITRAL: The generating machinery of the first unit of Golen Gol hydropower station commissioned to work recently is prone to damage due to unwarranted loadshedding by Peshawar Electric Supply Company (Pesco) leading to fall of load on it below the bare minimum possible required limit.

A technical source in the project told this correspondent that for each running generator of a hydropower station there was a fixed minimum power load which must be maintained on it in order to keep it safe from heating besides abnormal increase in its amplitude of vibration causing structural damage.

He said that in case of Golen Gol powerhouse whose first unit of 36MW capacity had been inaugurated in February last, the minimum load limit was 2MW which approached to zero when Pesco made loadshedding, pushing the machinery to hyper risk.

He said that as the transmission line was yet to be completed to connect it to the national grid at Chakdara, the consumption of the electricity generated by the power station was confined to Chitral only which is about 5MW and keeping it in view the maximum generation capacity had been lowered to 7MW.

He said that in the prevailing situation the shutdown of the powerhouse was the only solution to save it from loss.

The project manager, Engineer Javed Afridi, confirmed the risk and said that they had pointed out the impending disaster to the Pesco high-ups advising it to give up the loadshedding process.

He said that till completion of the transmission line and evacuation of the entire product to the national grid the risk of heating of the machinery would persist if the power load decreased to zero on it.

Chitral deputy commissioner Irshad Sodhar said that electricity loadshedding by Pesco was unwarranted, as five to seven hours of outage on daily basis was affecting 40,000 consumers across the district.

He rejected as misleading the Pesco stand that loadshedding in Chitral was aimed at recovery of the outstanding amount of electricity bills.

He said that the practice of loadshedding could create law and order situation in district as protests against it had become the order of the day.

When contacted, Pesco line superintendent Junaid Khan said that they were carrying out the outages by the orders of the high-ups.

Meanwhile, the local lawyers filed an application with police station, Chitral, for registration of FIR against the chief executive officer and other officers of Pesco for unwarranted power outages in Chitral.

Published in Dawn, June 4th, 2018

Upper Chitral power distribution crisis & Govt responsibility

Published on: 02/01/2018 | Comments: No comments 

Beyond any modicum of doubt, the PTI-led government in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa holds power to bring about a settlement between the power supplying companies engaged in a stalemate over the issue of handing over of transmission lines for the provision of electricity to Upper Chitral from the Golen Gole Power station. Any delaying tactics for political mileage will undermine the image of the PTI deflating the party vote bank in Upper Chitral in the upcoming general elections. The public resentment is brewing in the resultant tug of war between the two political parties?the PTI and the PML(N)?for taking away the credit; the public protesters have warned of dire consequences and road blocks if the issue is not resolved before the visit of the Prime Minister for the inauguration of the Hydropower project.

The KP government must be cognizant of the fact that Upper Chitral is bearing the brunt of power shortage and the business of life in this part of the district has come to a virtual standstill. One can imagine from the price hike in the market as a result of vendors and photocopiers having switched to fuel powered generators to cater to the needs of the public. The electric appliances like refrigerators and washing machines are lying useless at homes for want of electric power. The solarization of houses in the wake of the destruction of Reshun Power House did not suffice to operate these electric appliances to the chagrin of the disadvantaged people of the area.

The failure of the KP government to restore the Reshun Power House will negatively impact the canvassing of the PTI in this area. Resorting to a political gimmick by the PTI in the current stalemate over the power issue, will place the PML (N) in the receiving end with Lowary Tunnel and Golen Gol Power Project as the trump cards to cash in on for the PML (N) candidate in the upcoming elections. In a nutshell, the PTI led government should address the woes of the people of upper Chitral lest the situation arising out of power shortage shall spiral out of control. .. Khalid Pervaiz Raza, Booni, Chitral 02 Dec 2017

MNA demands power supply for upper Chitral

Published on: 28/12/2017 | Comments: No comments 

CHITRAL: Member National Assembly (MNA) Shahzada Iftikharuddin has said that the provincial government is not serious in electricity supply from Golen Gole Power Station to Upper Chitral district.

Talking to reporters on Tuesday, he said that the Peshawar Electric Supply Company (Pesco) and Wapda have no issue in provision of electricity to Chitral from the power station.

However, he added that Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government was not serious in addressing the issue.

He said that Prime Minister Secretariat and minister for water and power had been in contact with Pakhtunkhwa Energy Development Organization (Pedo), but the provincial organisation was not showing interest to solve the issue.

He said that after the destruction of the Reshun power station it was the Pedo?s responsibility to provide electricity to 21,000 power consumers. But Pedo was neither initiating work on the rehabilitation of the power station nor it was interested in purchasing electricity for the power consumers, he added.

Source.. The News