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Swiss envoy inaugurates hydropower station for Chitral village

CHITRAL: About 8,000 people of Raman village in Laspur valley of upper Chitral will get electricity before the start of winter season as a small hydropower station built by Aga Khan Rural Support Programme (AKRSP) was commissioned to work here on Tuesday.

Temperature in the Laspur valley and other areas of upper Chitral remains below freezing point during winter.

Accompanied by Aga Khan Foundation chief executive officer Akhtar Iqbal, the Swiss ambassador to Pakistan, Marc George, flew to the village to inaugurate the facility which was financed by Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC).

Speaking on the occasion, the Swiss ambassador expressed his pleasure over completion of the hydropower project with active participation of the local community and said that the project would now improve the standard of life of the people.

“I also belong to a mountainous area like Laspur and know the problems of the people in all sectors of development and feel how electricity is crucial to their uplift and conservation of environment,” he said. He eulogised the role of AKRSP in development of power sector and social organisation process which brought about social cohesion in the area.

He said that about 100 years ago his country was also as backward as Laspur valley and the rest of Chitral, but the people developed a penchant for collective development and worked relentlessly to achieve the goal of development.

Speaking on the occasion, district nazim Maghfirat Shah said that the district government would develop the natural resources of the area to eradicate poverty from Chitral district. He said that the district government would foster communal harmony in the area which was a prerequisite for progress and development.

He said that the hydropower project at Raman Laspur was a symbol of the achievement of community. He pledged to lend full support to NGOs for development in the district.

AKRSP general manager Abdul Malik, deputy commissioner Aminul Haq and community leaders, Hasil Murad and Rashida, on this occasion highlighted the importance of the power project and said that womenfolk would also benefit of it.

The guests were enthralled by the traditional music concert arranged by local people.

Published in Dawn, September 30th , 2015

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