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ISLAMABAD: Water and Power Development Authority (Wapda) has accused Peshawar Electric Power Supply Company (Pesco) of not cooperating in supply of electricity to affectees of Dasu Hydropower Project as per agreement.

Chairman Wapda Lt General Sajjad Ghani (retd) in a letter to Secretary Power Division explained that construction works on Dasu Hydropower Project is in full swing. One of the key milestones of river diversion has been achieved in February 2023 and the project is expected to start generation in May 2026.

The project faces numerous technical and administrative challenges. Significant amongst these is provision of assured electric supply for dam construction.

Dasu hydropower project: Course of Indus River diverted

A 132-KV transmission line from Dubair HPP to Dasu project site was thus laid. Locals of the area; however, prevented stringing and construction of six towers. They demanded implementation of Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), signed in 2013 by then Ministry of Water and Power and locals, according to which electricity was be provided to the locals at generation rates of Dubair Khawar Power House.

This agreement had far reaching impact and hence was not implementable. This MoU was replaced by another agreement between locals and Wapda in December 2022. One of the terms and conditions of it was that Wapda will pay electricity bills arrears till December 2022.

Accordingly, Wapda approached Pesco and requested to provide details of private consumers in three districts of Kohistan with pending electricity arrears with supporting documents such as slab based realistic bills with proper tariff.

However, Pesco only provided a combined list of consumers with no segregation of domestic/ commercial consumers.

Supporting documents were also not provided.

Wapda again urged Pesco for supplying the said supporting documents. Proper billing from January 01, 2023 was also required as people are willing to pay bills on monthly basis.

On April 27, 2023, Pesco disconnected power supply to all the three districts of Kohistan, which was restored upon the personal intervention of the Chairman Wapda and Secretary Power Division, GoP. Pesco not only deprived the people of Kohistan of their basic right but it may also have affected hospitals, municipal services and security establishments in Kohistan.

Pesco disconnected electricity to an entire region of three districts of Kohistan, an area that continues to be sensitive. Chairman Wapda; however, maintains that law of the land neither empowers, nor authorises Pesco to act unilaterally with such highhandedness.

He also brought on record that in distant and far-flung areas of Kohistan difference between Wapda and Pesco is blurred and Wapda continues to serve interest of Pesco and bears brunt of the annoyed local consumers.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2023

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