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Hunza load-shedding: Electricity/Power/Energy Crises in Hunza

THE people of Hunza, a district of Gilgit-Baltistan, are facing innumerable problems owing to prolonged loadshedding. Of late the situation has gone from bad to worse and the area is undergoing power shutdowns of 22 hours daily. This has added to people’s miseries in the intensely cold weather where the mercury was below zero for many days.

Hunza, being a popular tourist destination, should be provided uninterrupted electricity supply. This is essential to promote tourism in the region which in turn will ensure the economic well-being of the people through this sector.

The federal government should ensure that Gilgit-Baltistan receives uninterrupted electricity supply.

50 MW Attabad Hydropower Project

Hunza valley has been the hub of tourism industry in Gilgit-Baltistan where tourists visit in millions annually. Every year the tourism industry of the area adds billions to the GDP of the country. Being the contributor to the GDP of Pakistan it also holds an important position in China Pakistan Economic Corridor as the route enters Pakistan through Hunza Valley, covering up to 150 kms, from Khunjerab to Nasirabad. Government has been spending billions in tourism sector in the valley but in parallel ignoring the other aspects of daily life of the people.

Although electricity issue has been the biggest problem throughout the country, but Hunza Valley is on the top of the list where the problem has gripped the whole valley since a long time. GB government has failed constantly to tackle the issue with concrete solution. Recently a 1 MW power house was made operational at Misgar Upper Hunza. The operations lasted for only week, before the water channel collapsed, due to poor construction quality, rendering the entire project dysfunctional and pushing back Hunza in darkness.

The seriousness of Government in energy sector in the valley is zilch. People are suffering due to the shortage of electricity for six months, without any respite. Among every three days electricity is provided for 2 hours and remains unseen for the rest of the time.

The temperature in Hunza these days is in negative and severe weather condition has put the people in harsher environment. There is no other means of heating inside houses except electricity. Due to unavailability of electricity hotel industry in the valley has gone down and business of the people has collapsed. Those business centers running on electricity have been almost closed as timely provision of energy is not possible rather their expenses are at peak. Many such sectors are related with the energy crisis where their economic activities have been declined. None is there to ask Water and Power Division of their progress on the issue. The political representatives of the area have not yet realized the problem of the people of Hunza rather they have their own special arrangements from Government and Private institutes for fulfilling their needs within their own cottages.

Government and political representatives needs to be serious in providing the basic necessities of life to a common man instead of prioritizing their own over the needs of public. Although resources are abundant in the valley but the proper utilization and quality of work matters. Funds need to get properly utilized in addressing the issues of public. Political representatives owe explanation to the public while they have been elected through their votes. Public needs to be proactive in solving their problems from concerned departments. Although hardships are there to solve the issue but there are also many ways to tackle it with proper utilization of resources.

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