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CHITRAL: The residents of Mastuj tehsil will boycott the second phase of the ongoing census starting from April 25 if the provincial government further delays rehabilitation of the 4.2 megawatts Reshun hydropower station which was partially damaged by floods in July 2015.

Addressing a protest meeting at Reshun here on Sunday, village nazim Shahzada Munir, Haji Bubul Aman, Abu Lais Ramdasi, Syed Sardar Hussain Shah, Arifullah and Anisur Rahman regretted that the government had turned a deaf ear to their repeated demands of rehabilitating the power station which supplied electricity to 16,000 households.

They said the flood had washed away only the generator room while the power tunnel, the fore-bay tank, the switch room and the transmission line were unaffected by the flood and rehabilitation of power supply was possible within a couple of months by reconstructing the generator room.

They alleged that the Pakhtunkhwa Energy Development Organisation (Pedo) had made a phenomenal increase in its estimated cost, showing that the whole power station as damaged by the floods.

“The government always made false promises to start work on the site to pacify the people but every time it went back on its words, forcing them to protest,” regretted a speaker.

ROUNDTABLE: Supported by Pakistan Poverty Alleviation Fund (PPAF), Chitral Growth Strategy is entering its final phase, which will cover all the sectors of development based on the basic needs prioritised by the people and the elected representatives.

This was disclosed at a roundtable organised by the district government. Members of provincial assembly from Chitral, district nazim, tehsil and village nazims and representatives of civil society spoke and put forward their proposals on the occasion.

Deputy commissioner Shahab Hamid Yousufzai, DPO Syed Ali Akbar Shah and the district heads of different departments were also in attendance.

On the occasion, the district nazim said Chitral Growth Strategy would ensure an integrated approach towards development so that growth in one sector won’t have adverse affect on the other.

He said it was heartening to note that all the political parties, civil society organisations and other stakeholders were on one page about the strategy.

Published in Dawn, March 20th, 2017