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CHTIRAL: Over 45,000 electricity consumers in Chitral district were made to undergo mental agony as they suffered a 48-hour power outage because the Peshawar Electric Supply Company did not inform them in advance about the prolonged shutdown.

The consumers decried the outage of electricity without prior information and said had they been informed in advance they would have arranged alternative sources of power supply.

Hundreds of shopkeepers in Chitral city and upper Chitral valley suffered a loss of millions of rupees as the refrigerated articles, including ice-cream, dairy products, frozen chicken and mutton were damaged.

Bashir Hussain Azad, a traders’ leader, complained that the loss could have been averted if Pesco had informed them prior to shutting the power supply, but they were kept in the dark. He said whenever they inquired about the shutdown they were told the power supply would be restored any moment.

The reason for the prolonged outage is said to be the shutdown of Golen Gol hydropower station for desilting of its power channel which had been filled by sand due to recent glacial lake outburst flood.

The project director of Golen Gol hydropower project, Engr Javed Afridi said it had become inevitable to close down the power station for flushing the large amount of sand accumulated in the water channel and fore-bay tank that could have damaged the turbine.

The electricity supply had not been restored till filing of this news story by Tuesday evening.

Published in Dawn, September 12th, 2018