PESHAWAR - Marble factories’ owners hailing from Shabqadar, district Charssada, have demanded of the government to stop unnecessary power loadshedding and ensure uninterrupted power supply to their factories in order to increase production and ultimately avoid unemployment.

They also demanded access to international market to introduce the local marble to the world, Subhan Khawar Marbles Factories Association, President Janullah Khan, said this while speaking at a news conference here at Peshawar Press Club on Wednesday.

He said that they were paying million of rupees electricity as monthly bills regularly but despite that they were facing 15 to 16 hours excessive loadshedding, which is injustice with them.

He added that the Pesco’s loadshedding is tantamount to bringing the only revenue generation industry on the verge of collapse.

He also criticized the ANP-led provincial government for not taking this serious issue with the authorities concerned to address the problems of businessmen community and stop artificial shortage of electricity. He also lamented that they were not provided any adequate facilities to improve the marble production as well as its quality up to the international standard. Though, he said, they were following the mandatory rules and procedures, but despite that the government was not cooperating with them in this regard.

He also warned that if the government fails to take prompt steps for the resolution of their problems, they would be forced to start a protest campaign against the government.

Expressing the grave concern over the illegal collection of transportation of marble from Mohmand Agency charged up to Rs. 6,000 per truck marble stones from the area to Subhan Khwar area of district Charssada, he said and demanded of the government to take notice of the illegal extortion. He informed that WAPDA has demanded Rs 0.8million for installation of a transformer, which was difficult for them to pay. The government should provide a separate feeder for provision of uninterrupted power supply to marble industrial units, he demanded.

Khan also claimed that officials of the Environment Department illegally raided the factories by police on the pretext of not following the environmental rules and regulations. Marble is a labour intensive industry, where over 5,000 workers were provided employment in 100 marble units only in Shadqadar area, he said.

He demanded a stern action against the collection of illegal tax, and ensure the scheduled electricity load shedding.