Human beings are now at a crucial juncture living in the age of scientific and Artificial revolutions that are transforming human life one could imagine before, also Humans have the option to remain in stone age features like resistance to adaptability and innovations through mismanagement and poor governance, they could waste their resources and potentials and may still revive stone aged.

The 21st century is a testimony to all the nations and governments across the world either to evolve and adapt to change over time or broaden the boundaries of miseries and crises.

Yuval Noah Harari in his book “21 Lessons for the 21st Century is a book ” aptly states that ‘crisis serves as an opportunity’ it fosters positive change and innovations, and emphasizes collaborations and collective actions to address the pressing challenges.

The story of Gilgit-Baltistan is relevant to the actor who hasn’t yet changed and is resistant to innovations. The role of government at a large scale is prominent and inevitable to come up with viable solutions to each problem. The Government in Gilgit-Baltistan has been left with no wings to fly and they haven’t been granted due rights and governance structure to make certain necessary reforms under the circumstances of its status at the National as well as International level, G-B status in national fora is decisive and of utmost importance.

Since the Gilgit-Baltistan Empowerment and Self-rule Order 2009 was passed, the center has gained a position to label any crisis in G-B or peripheries on the shoulders of provinces under the provincial domain under the 18th amendment, even to an area where they have no revenue collection structure and fiscal discipline, What do G-B can do right now is to day by day become more burden on center for required grants and packages. Unending crises have been shaking G-B internally but one among the rest is the most basic need of the 21st century i.e. Power or electricity.

From the scope of the economy to social progress, from health to the education sector electricity is in high demand for efficient growth and prosperity.

Gilgit-Baltistan since 2010 to till now has governed by three more dominant mainstream political parties i.e Pakistan People’s Party (2010-2015), Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (2015-20), and Pakistan Tehreek e Insaf in coalition with other parties are now ruling G-B with majority seats in G-B constituent assembly.

Despite all the promises and announcements, the dream of witnessing GB as free from electricity shortfall is still a dream and we can’t see any more improvement in resolving the power crisis rather it is getting worse over time. Currently, G-B is grappling with a severe electricity crisis which has far-reaching ramifications for its socio-economic development. The load shedding soars to 22 hours a day in Gilgit, Hunza, Ghizer, Ghanche, and Skardu districts.

This trend in power blackouts in G-B has been precarious and indigenous suffer economically and get mentally paralyzed and frustrated by daily basis prolonged and unannounced load-shedding. Any Government in Gilgit-Baltistan hasn’t yet proven to be politically and administratively trustworthy and capable of studying in-depth power crises and the way forward in both short and long terms.

The governance of the power supply has been poor and the public now trusts deficits in government and power departments in G-B. The region faces topographical challenges and hostile climate change which further culminate wretchedness and fuel many other crises with power that include flash floods, glacier lakes outburst floods, seasonal shifts, and local crop yields on less than 1% of G-B’s total land for merely 6-7 months, frequent landslides block strategic roads like Karakoram Highway and Juglot-Skardu Road.

G-B’s Government over the last decade has been allocating all regional budgets on unnecessary projects like recarpeting of bumpy and jolting roads by the same scandalized contractors who are in most cases responsible for ruining the construction schemes, also Government spends enough budget and resources for building and renovating luxurious offices for ministers, bureaucrats, and other dignitaries for mere a protocols cause.

The power crisis in G-B is more a ‘political cause’ though it is linked to faults in technical and infrastructure factors.

The lack of governance and a comprehensive action plan to resolve power issues in G-B by any government on an emergency basis is absent. Political hurdles to work and make important legislations for new schemes of power projects, especially Solar and wind or using a thermal generator for the short term overcoming the intense power cuts halts the region between the struggle for basic needs. The region lacks power resources like coal or gas, the only resource the region has is abundant water resources which are being utilized for running all currently 180 hydropower stations across G-B.

The region faces around 6 months of chill winter under the circumstances, water flowing down streams and small tributaries are frozen and water pressure decreases by a considerable amount. In the book “The Art of Governance: Analyzing Management and Administration” Alasdair Roberts defines governance as “It (Governance) involves the effective management of resources, decision-making structure, and accountability mechanisms within organizations and institutions”.

In the case of G-B, the local government is nowhere in managing local resources and has no concern about how the local resources are depleting and focuses on adaptability over time. Poor governance to bring reforms in the power sector in G-B is proof of how local political and administrative bodies are malfunctioning and carry no capabilities to address the grave challenges of GB.

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