FAISALABAD: The Faisalabad Electric Supply Company (Fesco) panicked powerloom owners and workers by allegedly disconnecting power supply to their units on Sunday night without a prior information in a bid to ensure electricity during Iftar and Sehr.

The company allegedly issued notices also to textile exporters asking them to shut their factories during these timings. However, Fesco has not informed industrialists of alternative power supply schedule.

Industrialists wrote letters to Fesco expressing apprehension over its approach and asked officials to refrain from adopting methods that could create chaos in the district.

Council of Loom Owners Association Chairman Waheed Khaliq Ramay told Dawn a standing order had been issued to the SDOs to cut power supply to factories. He said Fesco employees, without prior information, had started to disconnect supply to powerloom factories on Jhang Road and other areas. He said the situation could lead to confrontation between workers and owners and Fesco officials.

He said such a haphazard approach and ill-conceived policy of Fesco officials would land the government into trouble. He also said industrialists had not been taken into confidence over the power suspension issue. He said he had written to Fesco officials that loom owners would not be responsible for any mishap if labourers caught them disconnecting supply.

“Why are only domestic consumers being focused on? Industry should also be given relief that is feeding millions of families. Closure of industry means disorder everywhere,” Ramay added.

He said Fesco officials had been given proposals for loadshedding schedule on Monday hoping they would follow the suggestions to help continue businesses. Textile exporters were also baffled, terming the approach tantamount to creating hindrance in honouring foreign commitments.

Pakistan Hosiery Manufacturers and Exporters Association Chairman Amjad Khwaja said, in his letter to Fesco, entrepreneurs were fine with six-hour loadshedding during Sehr and Iftar. However, the company must make arrangements to provide uninterrupted power during remaining working hours.

He claimed the hosiery units in Faisalabad had received notices from Fesco sub-divisional officers concerned regarding power outages at Sehr and Iftar.

Khwaja asked the Fesco chairman to clearly spell out his policy with instructions to SDOs to ensure uninterrupted power supply after Sehar and Iftar.

Fesco General Manager (Operations) Zafar Abbas Bukhari told Dawn: “We have been ensuring supply to domestic consumers during Sehr and Iftar timings that is why we asked factory owners to keep their units closed.”

He denied any notices had been sent to factory owners and their power supply disconnected on Sunday night. He also claimed industrialists and powerloom owners had been taken into confidence before Ramazan.

“Not only industrialists, we are requesting every segment of society to save energy for smooth supply during Sehr and Iftar,” he added.

Published in Dawn, July 1st , 2014

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