GILGIT: Gilgit city was in dark for more than 48 hours. With temperatures soaring above 35 degree C, prolonged power shutdowns have increased the miseries of the people in Gilgit and adjoining areas.
The capital city of mountainous regions (Gilgit) was hit by the longest power cut on Saturday, when power was suspended for more than 48 hours consecutively.
The season of worst breakdown was caused by rain and floods in the region, which dilapidated the main power stations of Gilgit, Guru and Oshikhan. The power outage led to severe water shortage in the area and enhanced suffering of the common people.
The Naltar reservoir – the biggest reservoir there, located some 40km from Gilgit – currently supplies water to 90 percent of the city’s population, making it the largest power project in the region. However last year, cracks appeared in the walls of the reservoir, reducing power production capacity considerably.
“We have no electricity for the last two days, so we don’t have enough water for household use. We have to bring water from the river in buckets,” said a resident of Konodas, Gilgit.
The situation in other districts of GB is not much different. Hunza, a tourist spot filled with international and local tourists, is experiencing 10 to 15 hours of power cuts regularly.
“Power generation is top priority of our government and we are working on [reducing] the [duration of] current power cuts,” said Gilgit-Baltistan Minister for Works Dr Iqbal. According to official statistics, GB has potential to produce more than 45,000 megawatts of electricity. However, due to lack of investment in the power sector, people are suffering from massive load shedding and increasingly depending on liquefied petroleum gas (LPG).