Jan 17, 2011

Gilgit Baltistan: Peaceful Protests Achieve End to Power Crisis

In response to a power crisis caused by a burnt transformer, which left Gitch in Gilgit Baltistan without electricity for two weeks, angry youths launched peaceful road blockages, succeeding in their aim to reinstate electricity.

Below is an article published by Dardistan Times:

Protesters in Gitch [Gilgit Baltistan] blocked the Ghizar while protesting against absence of electricity in the area. Even Chief Secretary GB’s vehicle was stopped by the protesters. The only transformer of Gitch had burnt due to short circuit about two weeks before and the responsible department had failed to repair or replace the machine.

People of the village informed the relevant authorities about the power crisis but their demands fell on deaf ears. In retaliation, the frustrated village youth staged a protest demonstration, blocking the Ghizar road for all types of traffic.

“We demand two new transformers from the district administration”, said a leader of the village youth organization. “If our demands are not fulfilled and if we do not get electricity, we will again block the road”, he threatened.

Reacting to the protest, the relevant authorities repaired the transformer on the same day and supply of electricity was resumed. The villagers are now demanding two new transformers as promised at the day of protest.