FAISALABAD: The chief executive officer (CEO) and three other officers of the Faisalabad Electric Supply Company (Fesco) have been suspended from service for their failure to restore the electricity supply to various areas of the city on Eidul Azha.

The action against CEO Arshad Munir and others was taken on the direction of the board of directors, which met in a hurriedly called meeting on the direction of the minister of energy on Thursday.

Lesco Chief Engineer Bashir Ahmed has been appointed as the Fesco CEO on a temporary basis.

The three officers who were suspended along with the CEO were SE Operation 1st circle Mubashar Hussain, Abdullahpur Division EXEN Muhammad Amjad and Madina Town Sub-Divisional Officer Farrukh Parvez.

People in different areas suffered a lot as they could not get smooth supply of electricity on Wednesday and Thursday, the first two days of the Eid. They also staged protest demonstrations in various areas, including Jamia Chishtia Chowk, Canal Road, Jhang Road, Samundri Road and Sattiana Road.

The ruling party MNAs also faced a tough situation as the people kept calling them and turned aggressive against them for their failure to press the Fesco officials for restoration of the electricity.

MNAs Faizullah Kamoka and Khurram Shehzad visited the Fesco headquarters to know the reasons for the hours long power outages.

Mr Kamoka held dialogues with the protestors at the Jamia Chishtia Chowk and assured them that delinquent officers would face the music and supply would be restored soon.

After the meeting on Thursday, the BoD sent a letter to the Ministry of Energy, recommending the suspension of Fesco chief.

The letter reads, “On account of public protest due to continuous power outages and non-restoration of electric supply on July 20 and 21 in FESCO, particularly in Faisalabad city, Board of Directors FESCO conducted an urgent meeting on July 22 on the directions of Minister of Energy.

FESCO Management was asked to present a presentation regarding the above mentioned crises/situation. After the presentation, a detailed question answer session was held, during the process management completely failed to satisfy the concerns raised by the BoD. The BoD concludes that the situation is attributable to management failure (sic).”

The BoD recommended suspension of Fesco CEO Arshad Munir and appointment of a suitable officer to look after the work of the CEO as stopgap arrangement.

Following the recommendation, Minister of Energy Hammad Azhar placed the Fesco chief under suspension and he also shared this decision on his Twitter account, tweeting that Mr Munir had been suspended from service due to his failure to manage the power outages in the Faisalabad region during the rain on the Eid day. The minister tweeted that a probe into the issue would be launched.

Fesco spokesman Saeed Ahmed did not respond when this scribe contacted him.

Published in Dawn, July 24th, 2021

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