Gulmit, June 29: Consistent breakdown of the electricity supply infrastructure and unannounced load shedding, for 48 hours at times, has frustrated thousands of people in many villages of Gojal valley, the largest Tehsil of Gilgit – Baltistan. Recently there was no electricity for four days (72 hours) because of disruption in the power supply systems, as Chinese engineers bulldozed pylons, working on expansion of the KKH. Gojal (Hunza) is considered to be a hub of tourism in the entire region and the current power crisis doesn’t augur well for tourism industry.
An hotelier told this correspondent that tourists are the worst sufferers because supply of fresh food items can’t due to power breakdowns. Hotels and other business dependent on electricity have lost hundreds of thousands of rupees as perishable items get destroyed due to pro-longed power failures. Students are also facing difficulty in carrying on their studies because of unavailability of electricity.
Experts and community leaders blame the lack of capacity of the power infrastructure and the NAPWD workers for the torturous absence of electricity. Leader of a youth organization told this correspondent that the authorities are not heeding to the woes of the community “because people of the region are peaceful and avoid strikes, road blockades and other non-peaceful methods of diverting government attention”. He, however, warned “the usually peaceful people will not be able to tolerate criminal neglect of the authorities for long”. He warned that the Karakuram Highway will be blocked if the issue wasn’t resolved on urgent basis.
According to community representatives the issue has been discussed with top government officials like chief secretary, secretary works and the assistant commissioner but despite of promises made in the past no improvement can be seen the system. See also