BAHAWALPUR/TOBA TEK SINGH/

DERA GHAZI KHAN

The workers of Wapda and power distribution companies (Discos) during separate protests here on Tuesday threatened to cut the electricity supply across the country, if the government did not withdraw the proposed privatisation of the companies.

The proposed privatisation of Discos will not be allowed in any way and if the government does not change its policy, the workers will go on an indefinite strike and hold demonstrations, threatened a workers’ body.

Pakistan Hydro Workers Union Abid Circle Chairman Aleem Chaudhry and Circle Secretary General Munawar Jaam expressed these thoughts while addressing a protest demonstration of Mepco officials. They said that on the orders of Hydro Worker Pakistan Labour Union’s leadership, in MEPCO Circle Rahim Yar Khan, complete strike has been announced against the government’s policy of privatising Wapda and Discos. The Mepco officials staged the demonstration outside the Circle Office after completely locking the offices.

Circle Secretary Munawar Jaam said that the privatisation policy will not be acceptable in any way, the strike will continue till the government announces to revoke the privatisation process completely. Else, he said, in the next phase complete supply can also be shut down. He asked all labour officials to remain united and do peaceful protest. He said that complete strike will continue as long as the government does not acclaim the demands of labours and revoke the privatisation.

Divisional Chairman Riazul Hussain, Divisional Secretary Chaudhry Ghulam Shabbir also addressed with the protesters while a large number of officials participated in the demonstration.

On the other side, the strike of Fesco employees against the proposed privatisation continued for 11 consecutive days on Tuesday in Kamalia, Gojra and Pirmahal.

They locked the Fesco offices and held protest meetings in front of their office buildings. The workers staged a sit-in and held a protest demonstration. Addressing the protesters, the Wapda Hydro Electric Power Labour Union Divisional President Shahbaz and other office-bearers announced that the workers will foil every attempt of the government to privatise the companies, which were running in profit.

They said presently there was boycott of billing and work but the employees will be forced to shut the power supply of the whole country if the decision was not withdrawn.

They were chanting slogans against the government. As a result of the strike, hundreds of Fesco consumers were facing hardships regarding their complaints of out-of-order electricity gadgets. Those who visited the offices for correction of their bills have to pay excessive or defective bills as the staffers refused to entertain them.

In Dera Ghazi Khan, a sit-in and pen down strike was organised by Wapda Hydro Electric Central Labour Union in front of the Mepco office. The protestors said the privatisation plan would incur extra billing on the domestic consumers while the employees would face downsising.

The speakers threatened that power supply of the parliament and other important installations would also be suspended if the demands were not accepted.

VISIT TO GIRLS COLLEGE: Assistant Commissioner Ch Ali Atif Buttar visited the Government Girls Degree College and assured the college management of all-out assistance for its betterment.

Vice-Principal Madam Shaheen briefed the AC regarding all educational problems which were being faced by the teaching staff and students of the college. He said that “we have to concentrate on ensuring quality education at par with international standards.” He stressed on the teaching staff to keep pace with modern teaching skills and utilize the huge infrastructure which exist in shape of laboratories and other facilities. He urged the students to utilize modern techniques for acquiring knowledge.

On the occasion, the Vice-Principal highlighted the achievements of the college.