LAHORE – The City, again on Wednesday, led the power protests being held in various towns acros the province. Proetsters belonging to various trade organizations were joined by people from different other walks of life to give the movement a new shape. They took to the streets in different areas of the provincial metropolis on the 4th consecutive day.
Full-throated slogans were chanted against the Federal Government and the protesters vowed to continue their agitation till a solution was found to the issue of loadshedding. Reportedly, the protests were also held in Sargodha and Faisalabad.
In Lahore, angry ‘power’ victims attacked a Lahore Electric Supply Company Customer Service Centre in Township against the fresh addition of Fuel Adjustment Surcharge in their electricity bills. The demonstrators turned the office upside down, breaking its furniture to pieces.
Reportedly, the mob first demanded that the Lesco authorities withdraw the surcharge. But they resorted to violence after they were denied any such relief. The Lesco office bore the brunt of their wrath as they tried to break everything from windowpanes to cupboards.
Upon this the Executive Engineer called in the police, who later forced the protestors out of the office building. A number of citizens, under the banner of the PTI, held a protest demonstration at Yatim Khana Chowk on the Multan Road. They chanted slogans against the PPP government and also held the PML-N responsible for the crises. They burnt tyres and kept the traffic blocked at the road for at least an hour.
Meanwhile, the Lesco Engineers’ Association has appealed to the protestors to remain calm and do not destroy national assets. The peaceful protest was the basic right of the people but destruction of national asset during the agitation could not be justified, said the association and raised concern on damages of Lesco’s offices during the protests on Tuesday and Wednesday. They said the Lesco employees were not responsible for the loadshedding and adjustment of FAS in electricity bills.
On the other hand, a Lesco spokesman, in a statement, has said that the FAS for the month of August 2011, which was included in current bills, was payable. “But the company had stopped including it [FAS] in the electricity bills for the months of October, November and December of 2011 and January of 2012, which were recently determined by the Nepra,” the statement added.
The spokesman said that the FAS for the said months would be included in the bills after devising a proper method.
On the other side, the current demand for electricity has reached to 15, 853 MW while the power generation is 10, 238 MW, including 2,18 MW from hydal resources and 2, 122 MW from public sector thermal power plants. The sources said that private power stations were generating 5,809 MW while rental power plants were producing 89 MW of electricity. People in different cities of the country were facing 14 to 16 hours loadshedding.