Two Chinese companies to execute 35MW Chitral Moree Hydropower Project

Published on: 03/12/2018 | Comments: No comments 

Sinohydro Corporation, China and Sichuan Energy Industry Investment Group Company Limited, China will jointly work on the execution of 35 megawatts Toren More Hydropower Project

The decision came about in a meeting between Pakhtunkhwa Hydel Development Organization (PHYDO), Sichuan Energy Industry Investment Group Co. Ltd. China, and Sinohydro Corporation China, according to a press release.

Notably, the Chinese corporations had already presented their proposals to the PHYDO KP. Soon, a letter of intent (LOI) will be issued to them.

In the meeting, the issues relating to the finalization of the LOI were also discussed. PHYDO KP decided to convene a Board meeting in which the approval of LOI and other likewise development schemes will take place.

It is pertinent to mention here that the site under question is located on river Chitral and the provincial government has already signed the Memorandum of Understanding (MoUs) with the Chinese hydro companies.

Sichuan Energy Industry Investment Group Co. Ltd.

SCEI is a state-owned company established in 2011. The company is involved with the promotion of construction of energy infrastructures and facilitating the creation of major energy projects in the entire country. It provides energy project investment, investment management, and likewise services.

Sinohydro Corporation

Sinohydro Corporation is engaged in construction and installation activities in China. Its operations include RCC arch dam construction, concrete?gravity dam, concrete?double curvature works, large metal structure fabrication and installation, installation of?large water?turbine generation units and switchyards, and so on.

It also develops non-hydroelectric fields like coal/oil-fired power projects, motorways, long-span bridges, airports, and buildings etc. .. Source

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

Lowari Tunnel project scam should be thoroughly investigated by NAB

Published on: 24/10/2018 | Comments: No comments 

Dear Sir,,
It is an era of accountability in Pakistan. Every where there is demand for accountability from top to bottom. The people of Pakistan are willing to brave inflation and price hike but want no compromise on accountability for which the PTI government has been voted into power.? I request PM Imran Khan through your esteemed website, to order an inquiry into the causes of the phenomenal cost hike of the Lowari tunnel from initial seven billion rupees to twenty seven billion rupees.

The estimated completion time when the tunnel construction was started in 2005 was three years but now even after fifteen years the tunnel remains incomplete. Such phenomenal corruption and irregularity can only happen in a banana republic like Pakistan. Immediate investigation into the Lowari tunnel scam should be ordered by the Prime Minister and the culprits be brought to task as an example for others. .. Ehsanul Haq, Chitral 24 Oct 2018

The Lowari Tunnel: A Record breaking dangling project

Published on: 25/12/2017 | Comments: No comments 

The Lowary Tunnel is in the last phase of its completion. Thousands of travelers cross the tunnel every day.? It remains open for the vehicular traffic on daily basis for a specified time period. The ordeals of the stranded commuters during the winter season as a result of heavy snowfall and constricted vehicular access via the tunnel finally ended with a regular flow of traffic on both sides of the tunnel. It?s like a dream come when a passenger jeep enters one portal of the tunnel and makes an exit from the other in a shortest span of just seven minutes. Once the approach roads leading to the tunnel are refurbished, the duration of travel will further shorten to the relief of the commuters.? This tunnel has been a matter of life and death for the people of Chitral.

When the construction of the tunnel was halted by? Gen Ziaulhaq on the pretext of paucity of funds in the late seventies the miseries of the people of Chitral multiplied manifold. The harsh winters and thick snow on the lowary pass would make it out of bound for all types of vehicular traffic for almost six months and the people had to cross it on foot putting their lives at a great risk. In a desperate attempt to cross over the pass, many Chitralis lost their lives to avalanches and icy gusts of wind. Many of them were left paralised and crippled for life as a result of frost bite. The tragic incidents evinced a lukewarm response from the successive governments which apart from making some makeshift arrangements never thought seriously about the resolution of the longstanding problem on a permanent basis.

The ascension of Taliban to power in the late 90?s put them in control of the major portion of the Afghan mainland. In consequent of the Taliban control, the tribal skirmishes, banditry and highway robbery had diminished a great deal making it safe for the people of Chitral to use Afghanistan as an alternative route to travel to and from the down country. The government for Pakistan then would sign an agreement with her Afghan counterpart for the safe passage of the Chitral passengers through the Afghan soil till the time snow was cleared on the lowary pass for the flow of traffic. The journey via Afghanistan was always fraught with risks and dangers given the fact the Taliban were fighting a formidable foe the Northern Alliance for the supremacy of power. the hardships of the journey were enough to strain the nerves of the people of Chitral and they started to raise voice against the injustice meted out to them.

In 2003, the then President Gen Pervaiz Musharraf during a visit to Peshawar gave the glad tidings that his government is committed to restart construction work on the Lowary Tunnel. The news evoked a sense of jubilation and merry-making in Chitral because the announcement by the president was bound to open the doors of prosperity and socioeconomic development in Chitral. As soon as the Kohat Tunnel was opened, the then President issued directives to shift the machinery to the site of Lowary and subsequently assigning the task of the construction to a Korean construction company Sambu. The work on the tunnel started with a speedy pace and a huge amount of fund was earmarked in the budget for its construction.? Sadly, the work on the site halted in the wake of terrorist uprising in the Swat and the adjoining areas of Malakand and Dir, and the construction work was delayed indefinitely. The tunnel received a huge blow when Gen Musharraf was ousted by the PPP-led government of Asif Ali Zardary.

Post-elections 2008, the Pakistan People?s Party took the reins of government with Syed Yousaf Raza as the Premier of the country. The pace of construction work on the tunnel slowed down due to lack of funds as the PPP-led government was disinterested and slashed the volume of funds earmarked for this mega project in the federal budget. The situation was worse confounded when the project was wrapped up and the funds were diverted to Multan and Lyary. With this apathy, the hopes of the people of Chitral were once again dashed to the ground and they could not help but remember ZA Bhutto in nostalgia as the pioneer of the Lowary Tunnel. His son-n-law Asif Ali Zardary stabbed in the back of the people of Chitral despite the fact that Chitral was the stronghold of the PPP and often referred to as the second Larkana? for the mammoth vote of the party.? The injustice done impelled the Chitralis and once they decided to take out peaceful protest against the government. The construction work restarted after a prolonged period of time but with a meagre fund at a snail?s pace. Had the work been carried out at this, the tunnel would not have completed to be opened for traffic until now.

The 2012 elections turned out to be a blessing in disguise for the people of Chitral. The PML(N) led by Mian Nawaz Sharif was sworn in as the Prime Minister for the third term. The sole National Assembly seat in Chitral was grabbed by APML spearheaded by Gen Musharraf the arch-rival of NS who was sent packing by the former in 1998 and was sent on exile to the Saudi kingdom for ten years. The Chitralis viewed the new development in the center with suspicion as they did not expect any good from the staunch enemy of the former General. The MNA Chitral was also apprehensive regarding the development projects in Chitral. All the premonitions ended in smoke when the NS demonstrated large-heartedness and increased the required funds for the tunnel manifold and also issued directives to complete it before the expiry of his tenure. Thanks to NS, the tunnel is in the last phase of its completion.

It merits a mention here that apart from the above named political figures, the contribution of the civil society, local leadership and notables of Chitral can never be overlooked. It is the voice of these personalities that was heard in the corridors of power and the construction was consequently started. The foremost name that comes to mind is that of Ataliq Jaffar Ali Shah who left no stone unturned in raising the issue on the floor of the Assembly for the first time. May Allah bless his soul for his untiring efforts for the construction of the tunnel. The sitting MNA Iftikharuddin, ex-MNA Molana Abdul Akbar Chitrali, Wing Comdr. Fardad Ali Shah, well meaning writers, columnists and civil society contributed a lot to the construction of the road tunnel. The Chitralis pay homage and tribute to all those who made their long-cherished dream come true. .. Khalid Pervaiz Raza, Booni Chitral, 25 Dec 2017