I beg the courtesy of columns of your esteemed newspaper to draw the attention of Prime Minister of Pakistan to our dangerous plight at the hands of pitiless MEPCO as we have exhausted all other avenues for redress of our problem during the last 10 years. We are the residents of old Chungi No. 6, Chah Chashma locality, Alipur Road Muzaffargarh and the seven houses in our locality have 11KV lines stretching between two poles and passing over our courtyards because they were laid haphazardly 50 years ago by WAPDA to supply an agricultural tube well without keeping in view the future expansion needs of Muzaffargarh city. Now they are in a dilapidated state ready to fall on us during any dust storm. In fact, due to the last year’s severe earthquake, they have become weakened all the more. A boy of ours, playing in one of our courtyards has already been struck and burnt by high voltage from these wires. He was admitted to a hospital where he barely escaped loss of his life. The local Muzaffargarh Mepco authorities at second Mepco subdivision are adamant and not at all willing to take down those lines from our houses despite our repeated requests to them. They demand heavy fees for this job beyond our resources. But the fact is that the wires passing above us are totally unnecessary because there is a parallel 11KV line to our line running a few yards in the west of our houses and is supplying electricity to the downstream locality. Our overhead line was originally constructed to supply an agricultural tube-well which no more exists. Our overhead line is thus in fact quite superfluous and redundant. If the line passing over our houses is removed, it will not affect the downstream electricity supply as that other duplicate line is already continuing to supply power to the same downstream locality. The population of Muzaffargarh city has since multiplied seven times and we were forced by our circumstances to build our houses here. But we did not build our living quarters under those wires, in compliance with the law, and the wires are passing over our courtyards. The Mepco officials threaten to displace those wires to a distance of few feet so that then they would stand directly above our living quarters and as a result would become all the more extremely deadly. That would be an illegal act too. We may add here that the Mepco authorities always dismiss our request for removal of those wires by repeating only one answer every time to our request in the form of this question: ‘Did we seize possession of the land first for our wires, or did you build your houses first on this land? Who was first?’ This is despite the fact that we are the legal owners of our land. And a misinterpretation of the Electricity Act is resorted to. Should the calamity of our electrocution occur as a result of collapse of those wires upon us in a severe windstorm or an earthquake, it will constitute a great tragedy and may appear as headlines in the national media. The government may then have to pay reparation grants to our surviving heirs.

JAMIL AHMAD,

Muzaffargarh, March 2.