Pakistan is facing extreme power shortage since many years. One can enlist a number of reasons from lake of policies tackling this issue to inefficient power generating units and huge line losses cum power theft. Unfortunately, this situation is even going bad to worst.
How much potential Pakistan has to overcome this power shortage issue, both in terms of natural and human resources, one can find in a video that was produced by “Mera Passion Pakistan” a non-political independent platform which aims to highlight positive things about Pakistan.
Shoot about two years back, this video seems most relevant even today to show our Governments, both Federal and provincial that how much power generation potential Pakistan have. This video shows the passion of a young man living in district Buner of Pakistan’s North Western province Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK).
The video introduces Mr. Zahir Shah Malang, who lives in Char Ghunda Kay, a village of district Buner. Zahir Shah belongs to an underprivileged family but passionate to resolve sufferings of people around him.
Like many far-flung and mountainous villages of KPK, his village was also without electricity. Somehow he became familiar with the hydroelectricity and decided to generate electricity for his village too, from the mountainous water streams in his area.
How did he achieve his goal? Here is Zahir Shah’s account;
“I was visiting a friend in Besham where I came to know about hydroelectricity. I decided to help my people with this idea. But unfortunately I had no money to start such a big project.
I had only Rs. 180 at that time, but I started experimenting. Initially, people around me including my family and friends ridiculed me. They were sure it will never happen, but I kept on working with full determination.
The turbine was to set 4-5 km uphill from the road. So it was very difficult to bring all the material at that location, as there are no roads. We had to transport every single thing on our shoulders. With the help of fellow villagers, we brought all the machines, pipes and other materials to the site.
Some of my friends like Wazirzada supported and helped me achieving this goal. After completing the power generating unit, there was another big challenge to establish a distribution network of cables and poles, etc. At this point I got help by Mr. Haroon Rasheed who is an Advocate. He not only encouraged me but funded the rest of the project. I am grateful for his support.
My dream came true in 2011. The project started with 180 Rs in 2005, got completed in 2011 with the help of God and friends. Now we are providing power to 150 homes. We provide electricity before sunset till 8 to 9:00 am.
Electricity is not only lighting the houses that used to remain in the dark, but also helping to spread the light of education. Now all those children can study their school books and Quran during the night, who help their parents in cattle farming during the day. Prior to that people were to go 14-15 km downhill, the nearest town with electricity and got their mobile charged. Now they have electricity for other home appliances as well.
For this electricity, we charge 200 Rupees per house per month. Bigger houses pay 250 Rs per month. Still 250 houses are without electricity. At the moment, we don’t have resources to extend our generation and distribution capacity, but we are determined to provide power to them as soon as possible.”
Here ends Zahir Shah’s account but raises a few questions for the government of Pakistan;
1. If an underprivileged person can provide electricity to 150 houses with such a small monthly bill, why cannot you?
2. If such a small unit can meet the requirement of the village, why this approach couldn’t be used all over the country, particularly the monotonous areas, with powerful water streams and rivers?
3. Can’t Governments fund such enthusiastic young people with the resources to help provide electricity, independent of national grid?