Power shortage looms over Hunza as 1MW Thermal Generator shuts down

Our Correspondent

Hunza, March 26: The PWD authorities in Hunza sub-division of the Hunza-Nagar district have recently informed the public that a 1 Megawatt (MW) thermal generator has been shut down from 26th March, 2014. This would reduce the total power generation capacity in Central Hunza to 1.2, which is likely to push the region back in darkness.

A notice circulated by the PWD authorities
A notice circulated by the PWD authorities

A public notice circulated by the Assistant Executive Engineer urges the public to stop using “heavy” electrical appliances in view of the power cut.

There are reports that the new scheduled promised in the notice is going to cripple the economic life of Hunza by shutting down electricity for the markets and hotels during four days a week.

The Hunza region has been facing severe power crisis for more than a decade. With each passing year the electricity needs of the valley increased but the government and the Gilgit-Baltistan administration has failed to add to the power generation capacity.

An eight megawatt power project in Misgar (Gojal), Upper Hunza, remains to be completed despite of the passage of more than a decade. Tens of millions of rupees have been spent on the project, above and beyond the earlier anticipated budget, but project is no way near completion.

The current PPP government has miserably failed to add even one megawatt to the power generation capacity despite of winning in the elections on promises of bridging the power gap .

It is pertinent to note that Hunza, like all other valleys of Gilgit-Baltistan, has tremendous potential for hydro-power projects. However, this potential is not being exploited by the policy makers and rulers for unclear reasons, leaving the public at the mercy of darkness and cold.

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  1. In a meeting in the office of DC Hunza/Nager during July 2014, PWD officials mentioned that Fuel cost for running this generator during winters was Rs. 3.5 million. I had therefor proposed then that instead of running the generator they should invest the amount to provide Solar Electricity to 750 households each year in this cost.Will our representatives consider this alternative seriously?

  2. In a meeting in the office of DC Hunza/Nager in July 2013, the PWD participants mentioned that every winter seasons this one-Megawatt generator consumes fuel worth Rs. 3.5 million. I had then proposed that this amount should be spent to provide lighting needs of 750 households each season through Solar System – an example being the scheme in Khurukushal Khan managed by the Women Organization. Will our representatives from Hunza consider this proposal seriously?

  3. I am also reminding the readers to participate in the ADVOCACY for a “HUNZA POWER SUPPLY COMPANY” as a joint ownership proposal for entire Hunza.

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