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Powerhouse built in GB through trophy-hunting money

Gilgit –  A community-based hydropower project in Gilgit-Baltistan in Sassi Haramosh area, which has been built through the Markhor Trophy fund, was inaugurated on Sunday.

In this connection, a ceremony of was held at Sassi Haramish. Dr Iqbal, minister for Law and works was the chief guest on the occasion. Sajad Haider, secretary forest and wild life, Zafar Waqar Taj, secretary water and power, Deputy Commissioner Shigar Wali Khan and other officials attend the ceremony.

The 350 kilowatts powerhouse, which has become operational, would provide electricity to around 4,000 people of Haramosh valley in district Gilgit.

Dr Iqbal while addressing the ceremony said the project would bring about a big change in the lives of the residents of the area. “Development cannot change the lives of people but it is thinking that changes the lives of people” he added.

The money generated through trophy hunting could be distributed among people of the area like past practice but the community of Haramosh preferred to invest it in development, resulting in construction of the hydropower project, which would provide electricity to the local people round the clock, he said.

On the occasion, the minister also announced to upgrade girls’ high school to a degree college, 10-bed hospital to 30-bed and constitution of three different links road. He criticised former Pakistan Peoples’ Party (PPP) government in Gilgit-Baltistan (GB) and said the previous government had ignored the valley.

Zafer Waqar Taj said the power project was a role model for people of Pakistan, particularly Gilgit-Baltistan. He complained about misuse of electricity by people of the area including non-payment of their liabilities.

Sajad Haider said Haramosh valley was full of natural resources. He asked people not to cut trees and protect the wildlife. He also advised the community conservation committee to invest the income received through trophy hunting on development of the area.

Earlier, Hamid, representative of Sassi Haramosh conservation committee, said two makhor had been hunted in Haramosh valley in during trophy hunting season. He said 80 per cent of the income generated from the sale of hunting permits would go to the local community while twenty per cent of the amount would go to government exchequer.

via The Nation

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