LAKKI MARWAT: The traders and civil society activists have complained about excessive power and gas outages in the Bannu district.

Talking to reporters on Saturday, they said that the urban and the adjoining rural areas were hard hit by unannounced and prolonged spells of electricity and gas outages, troubling the business community to a great extent.

They said that women suffered the most due to prolonged breakdowns of power and gas supply.

“On one hand people have been subjected to face the brunt of increase in power and gas tariffs, and on the other, they are being deprived of gas and electricity facilities,” Arshad Khan, a traders’ leader, deplored.

He said that paying utility bills had become a hard nut to crack for poor consumers owing to frequent hikes in gas and electricity prices.

Karim Khan, a civil society activist, said that people were forced to pay inflated bills of utilities but the service providing companies were unable to ensure smooth power and gas supply to them.

“During the last over one year, the government enhanced prices of electricity and gas many times,” he maintained, deploring that loadshedding duration had also increased in the southern district.

They said that there was no check and balance on local authorities of power and gas supply companies, that was why they were involved in carrying out gas and electricity outages to cover losses caused by their poor performance.

The traders said that power shutdowns had badly impacted their businesses, leaving them with no option but to come onto the streets to record a protest.

They asked the government to take notice of ‘unjustified and unfair’ electricity and gas breakdowns and direct local authorities concerned to ensure smooth supply of these critical utilities.

Published in Dawn, March 3rd, 2024

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