PESHAWAR - A protest rally against excessive electricity loadshedding and overbilling in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Wednesday stormed the Wapda House here.

The rally of infuriated consumers, mostly workers of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), was led by Ayesha Gulalai – a PTI Member National Assembly (MNA) from South Waziristan.

PTI MPAs including Yasin Khalil, Arif Yousaf, Arif Jahandad and Peshawar Nazim Muhammad Asim Khan also participated in the rally.

Waving sticks in their hands and chanting slogans, the protesters scaled the walls and broke the main gate of the Water and Power Development Authority (Wapda) offices.

The demonstrators were carrying placards and banners inscribed with slogans against the Peshawar Electric Supply Company (Pesco) and the federal government, holding them responsible for prolonged and unscheduled power outages.

The protesters set up a camp inside the Wapda House and vowed to remain there until the government met their demands.

The protesters said they were facing worst kind of loadshedding in the hot and humid weather but the Pesco was indifferent to their misery.

Addressing protesters , Gulalai said, “All Wapda officials are using free electricity while the poor consumers are putting up with over-billing.”

Alleging federal government of treating KP like a step-child, she said that the province was facing prolonged hours of loadshedding which would not be tolerated anymore. She said that federal government received heavy taxes from the citizens but did not provide basic facilities in return.

Ayesha Gulalai alleged that Pesco was taking directions from the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader Amir Muqam and Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) chief Fazlur Rehman.

She said that the people of the province were subjected to power suspension for 18-20 hours daily but the federal government was indifferent to their misery.

Gulalai also alleged that the PML-N-led federal government was bent upon creating problems for the provincial government by observing prolonged gas and power loadshedding in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

“In such a situation, when the federal government has begun taking revenge on the poor people of KP [for voting the PTI into power], we are left with no choice but to step out and agitate,” she said.

The PTI lawmaker also alleged that Pesco had sent inflated bills to the consumers to recover their line losses, despite regular payment of bills, and the officials themselves were involved in power theft.

“The protest shall continue till unannounced loadshedding ends,” Gulalai said.

However, later in the day, the protesters split into two groups with one initiating negotiations with the Pesco management and subsequently calling off their protest.

 

 

KARACHI POWER BREAKDOWN

INP adds: Around one-third of the metropolis was devoid of electricity on the night of Tuesday-Wednesday as more than 11 grid stations stopped working after a transmission line tripped at Hub.

According to reports, a number of localities, mostly in District Central, did not have power for several hours. The most affected areas were Malir Halt, Rifa-e-Aam, Alfalah Society, Gulshan-e-Rafi ,Saudagaran Society, Shah Faisal Town, Gulshan-e-Iqbal, Liaquatabad and Model Colony.

According to K-Electric spokesperson, electricity has been restored in most of the affected areas in the city.

Some days ago, the city had experienced loadshedding and power breakdowns after K-Electric – the city’s sole power supply company – said low gas pressure and other issues at the Bin Qasim power plant affected supply.

On April 2, the metropolis faced the same issue as power cuts in different areas left many people without electricity bringing daily activities to a standstill.

 

 

PTI protesters storm Wapda House


 

Wajidullah