Farman Ali Thara
Energy crisis is now the talk of town in Pakistan. Economic crises in this decade is due to energy crisis. If we examine the potential of our energy resources, Pakistan is among the richest countries when it comes to water reservoirs. At the present energy crisis is a highlighting issue in other major cities of Pakistan as well but the condition of Hunza Valley is so worst these days. Load shedding and power breakdowns are a routine and result in disruption in the smooth functioning of businesses, educational institutions and hospitals. In addition, students suffer particularly when burning the midnight oil for annual examinations.
Hunza, which is well known for its natural beauty which includes, mountains full of snow, water reservoirs/lakes and greenish meadows. But despite of having all these water resources, still there seems no permanent solution for electricity shortfall. I remember my recent visit to Hunza in September 2016 and during my stay, I rarely see electricity in my home.
Being a one of the best tourist spot in entire GB, Hunza is contributing a lot yearly to the so- called provincial exchequer of Gilgit Baltistan. Knowing the fact government of GB is not working on this issue. In recently concluded by elections, every contestant was raising the issue of electricity problems of Hunza but things usually get changed after winning elections and elected leaders are not more willing to work on major issues like electricity etc.
Some of the reasons for electricity issue in Hunza is as mention below. There could be many but I have pen down few of them.
- Despite of being literate enough, we are still illiterate to fight for our demands: for example, we don’t know to whom we have to cast our vote, we don’t know how to ask for our demands from our elected leaders.
- Government is taking no interest in solving electricity issues. This might be because of too much investment by AKDN institutions in Hunza.
- Hassan Abad power plant is the only supplier of electricity especially in central Hunza but it seems that there is still lack of expert human capital who can operate the machines properly.
- If we go 10 years back we don’t see any project related to electricity generation. In winters, whole region is wholly dependent on generators and I guess bringing generators for three to four months is not a viable solution for central Hunza.
- In this connection, there is an immediate need to construct a small dam on Attabad Lake which can minimize the gap of electricity shortfall or even fulfil the need of whole region.
- There is also immediate need to look for other electricity generating venues like Ahmed Abad, Misgar etc.
- To ensure transparency in budget consumption and standardized construction works, tenders should be given only to those contractors whose record is excellent.
- Finally, misuse of electricity by influential and affluent consumers should be checked through formulation of strict laws.
- There is need of technical expert who can easily operate machines and will be responsible for its maintenance.
- There is need of permanent solution to this problem; spending too much money on generators is not a permanent solution.
The contributor is an HR Professional hailing from Hunza. He maintains that his ‘article is not against any political party or individual.’