Altaf Hamid Rao
MIRPUR (AJK):(Parliament Times) Azad government of the State of Jammu & Kashmir has directed the top authorities of the State Electricity Department to immediately move for disbanding the reported unscheduled and forced load shedding of power in Mirpur city and rest of the district, holding the country’s biggest reservoir – Mangla dam in its lap. The Services and General Administration Department of the AJK government issued these directives to the Secretary AJK Electricity Department and the Power Development Organization (PDO), and Chief Engineers of the Electricity of Both North and South Zones of AJK Govt. in response to a recent letter of the AJK Presidential Secretariat over the complaint, lodged by the President of Kashmir Press Club Mirpur Syed Abid Hussain Shah, against the excessive load-shedding of electricity in Mirpur coupled with the earnest long standing demand of the people of Mirpur of declaring Mirpur as the load-shedding free zone.
The AJK government’s (S&GAD) directive to the State Electricity Department authorities said “I am directed to invite your kind attention to the President’s Secretariat (Public) Aiwan-e-Sadar, Islamabad, letter No. 2185/2018/ Petition dated 07th June, 2018 (Copy enclosed) and to say that the action may kindly be taken as per rules/policy strictly on merit under intimation to this office within fifteen days for onward transmission to the concerned quarter”.President of the Kashmir Press Club Mirpur Syed Abid Hussain Shah, in a recent letter to the President of Azad Jammu Kashmir Sardar Masood Khan had invited the attention of a recent emergent meeting of the citizens of Mirpur representing all segments of the civil society, hosted by the Kashmir Press Club, to express concern over the frequent unscheduled forced and excessive outage of power in the city and rest of the district with the request to the President of the State to move for getting Mirpur, the city of Mangla dam, exempted from the load-shedding of electricity completely.
The Kashmir Press Club President wrote in its letter addressed to the President of AJK said, “A meeting has been held in Kashmir Press Club, Mirpur against the on-going load-shedding in Azad Kashmir especially Mirpur. The Traders union of Mirpur, Bar Association Mirpur, Political Parties including PML(N) Azad Kashmir, PTI Azad Kashmir, PPP Azad Kashmir, Muslim Conference, Jammat-e-Islami Azad Kashmir, Transport Union, Jewelers Union, Civil Society and Journalists were present in the meeting. Following resolutions has been approved in this meeting.
1. Mirpur should be declared as a load shedding free zone because the people of Mirpur have sacrificed twice to enlighten Pakistan. First, they sacrificed their houses, graveyard and land in 1960 and again when dam was raised in 2002 around 150 villages came under the water of Mangla Dam.
2. Mangla Dam is producing around 1300megawatt electricity with addition of private sector project running in Mirpur which is producing 84megawatt electricity. The need of District Mirpur is only 80megawatt and only 300megwatt is needed for whole of Azad Kashmir. So, Mirpur should be declared as load shedding free zone.
3. Azad Kashmir territory does not fall under National Grid Station and hence no rules and regulation of National Grid applies on Azad Kashmir. So, Azad Kashmir should be separated from National Grid and should be given rights of its electrical energy.
4. Azad Kashmir electricity department should be given equal rights as the electricity companies in Pakistan are having rights.
5. The tax of Neelum Jhelum Hydral Power Project should be exempted from the electric bills of Mirpur region. It has been decided in the meeting that if Mirpur, Azad Kashmir had not been declared a load-shedding free zone and if the administration and concerned authorities did not offer a realistic solution for the resolutions approved in the meeting, then on Monday, 4th June all the stakeholders of Mirpur, Azad Kashmir will not only surround the administrative offices and electricity department of Mirpur but also will march towards Mangla Power Station and surround it as well”.
Altaf Hamid Rao