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— Dawn
— Dawn

SAHIWAL: When the 25-KV transformer of village 96/9-L on Pakpattan-Sahiwal Road died last week, the residents were given two options by the Multan Electric Power Company: get the transformer repaired either from the company’s workshop or from a private workshop.

The problem with the company’s workshop was that it was already full of sick transformers and the village transformer would take two months to be repaired. The private workshop would fix the issue in three or four days, but it would cost Rs22,000 to Rs25,000.

Nadeem, of the village, says Mepco officials asked the 90 connection holders, who were affected by the transformer, to chip in money and get the electricity restored in four days.

Mepco, however, treats its urban consumers differently when the matter is of a burnt transformer. Whenever any transformer breaks down in any urban locality, Mepco staffers either install a new transformer laden on a trolley or repair it within hours. This has been happening since the inception of the summer.

This correspondent visited two private transformers workshops in the city. Ustad Rasheed and Ustad Salamat run them on Friends Cinema Road and Arifwala Road. Both workshops are full of Mepco transformers.

Ustad Rasheed told Dawn every day they repaired seven or eight transformers. He said that during loadshedding hours, transformers died because of extra demand of power.

Waqas, of 132/12-L, Chichawatni, was sitting on the workshop, pleading the mechanics to repair their transformer at the earliest.

He told Dawn the village transformer, installed at Masjiswala Chowk, had broken down two times in the last one month, and every time, the villagers had got it repaired.

Mepco Executive Officer Chaughary Asghar denied any disparity between rural and urban consumers in provision of transformers. He said linemen replaced 90 per cent of the burnt transformer with the new one within hours while only 10 per cent of the transformers were dispatched to workshops. He said the company had no trolley transformers for villages.

A Mepco insider told Dawn there were 14 trolley transformers for the Sahiwal city, and five for the Chichawatni city.

“The only option left with us for the 500 villages of the disturb is to get repaired their transformers in case the new ones are not available,” Mr Asghar said.

Basir Ahmed, of village 96/9-L, says the village has been without electricity for the last four days. He says no Mepco official came to get down the transformer as villagers have not arranged Rs20,000 for its repair.

Published in Dawn, July 3rd, 2016