Dawn News

Power cuts: agitation rages on

PESHAWAR, Aug 1: People continued to hold rallies and block roads in parts of Peshawar against frequent power outages on Wednesday, inconveniencing motorists.

Protesters blocked GT Road and Ring Road by burning old tyres and throwing stones at vehicles and shops.

The protests were seen in Tarnab, Yakatoot, Dabgari, Dir Colony and Mohmandabad areas.

Local elders, including Fazal-i-Rabi, Ijaz Khan and Pervez Khan, who led the protest, said the government had failed to overcome energy crisis during the last more than four years.

They said prolonged power suspension and low voltage had stressed out locals.

According to them, the government had promised that there would be no loadshedding during sehr and iftar hours but the promise later turned out to be false.

They said electric supply remained suspended for 18 to 20 hours.

“The main problem created by loadshedding is shortage of drinking water as most tube wells have stopped functioning due to unavailability of electricity and low voltage of electricity. Officials of Peshawar Electric Supply Company don’t respond to our complaints,” Mr Fazal said.

Protesters said fluctuations had damaged their expensive electronic appliances.

They criticised the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government for its failure to support protesters and praised Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif for regularly attending demonstrations against excessive power cuts in parts of his province.

Meanwhile, traders announced to march through bazaars in the provincial capital.

A statement issued here on Wednesday said traders would also stage a sit-in on GT Road in Hashtnagri area.

In Karak district, too, protests against prolonged loadshedding were seen in the day with people blocking roads, including Indus Highway.

The enraged protesters marched into Indus Highway and blocked it at Niazi Well stop for one and half an hour.

Addressing protesters, speakers said loadshedding lasted 23 hours a day in the district to the people’s misery.

They warned that if Pesco didn’t ensure smooth electric supply in the next three days, then people would attack power grid stations in the district.

Speakers complained of slow pace of work on two grid stations in the district and demanded their early functioning.

Meanwhile, scores of Jamaat-i-Islami workers also took out a rally in Karak against excessive loadshedding.

They marched from Odeen Shah Mosque to Saddam Chowk before blocking Karak Bannu Road.

Addressing protesters, JI leaders Maulana Samiur Rehman and Azam Hamayun criticised the federal and provincial governments over energy crisis in the country and said people should be given a chance without delay to elect representatives afresh to overcome power outages.

They also complained against local MPAs and MNAs for being indifferent to their misery.

In Kohat, a large number of Pakistan Tehrik-i-Insaf workers on Wednesday warned that if loadshedding didn’t end in a week, they along with people would block Indus Highway and attack Lachi grid station.

They issued the warning during a rally against excessive power cuts in Shakardarra area.

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