PESHAWAR: Power supply to more than 72,000 houses in several parts of Peshawar was disrupted on Friday following the shutdown of the Rehman Baba grid station due to a technical fault as the protesters “restarted feeders switched off” by the power utility for the scheduled loadshedding.

In a statement, the Peshawar Electric Supply Company insisted that the protesters entered the grid premises at around 2pm and forcibly switched on the feeders.

It said that the grid developed a technical fault after the restarting of the feeders by mobs, shutting down 32 feeders with over 72,000 power connections.

The Pesco said the protesters shouted at staff members of the grid station and snatched their mobile phones.

Pesco claims mob ‘restarted feeders switched off for scheduled loadshedding’

It added that its workers were striving to restore power supply but it was likely to take several hours to happen.

The public utility said the protesters’ interference in the power system was causing troubles for consumers.

On Wednesday, the power utility warned that the restarting of feeders by protesters could badly damage the transmission infrastructure, which would take several days to repair.

The Rehman Baba grid station located on the Ring Road has been facing the brunt of power protests since last Saturday with protesters led by a ruling party’s lawmaker frequently entering the premises and restarting feeders despite Pesco’s warning.

Meanwhile, Chief Minister Ali Amin Khan Gandapur chaired a meeting over the power crisis in the province.

The participants included the additional chief secretary of the home and tribal affairs department Mohammad Abid Majeed, the secretary of the energy and power department and other senior officials.

The meeting reviewed the loadshedding situation in the province, according to an official statement.

The officials said over Rs1 billion in dues had been recovered from power consumers. They also said that the Pesco installations across the province had been provided with police security, while special police teams had been formed in all districts.

The officials, however, said the authorities’ zero loadshedding promise for Eid holidays was not kept as most of the areas in the province were subjected to 12-18 hours of power cuts daily.

They also said that 81 street protests were held against unscheduled power outages across the province.

The officials warned that a law and order situation was likely to emerge if the power supply didn’t improve.

Meanwhile, several parts of the Wana area in the Lower South Waziristan tribal district reported power suspension on 17 feeders for around 21 hours daily.

Shah Hussain Wazir, an elder of Spin area, told Dawn that Waziristan was worst hit by power cuts in the province, disrupting life.

He said the excessive power suspension had caused shortages of drinking water, forcing people, especially women, to fetch water in buckets from solar-powered tubewells.

The Tesco officials insisted that electricity was supplied to plains and suburban areas in the Lower South Waziristan district according to the schedule issued by the Peshawar Direct Control Centre.

Also in the day, residents of the Zaida City area in Swabi district staged a protest demonstration against the prolonged power cuts and demanded immediate repair of a faulty power transformer, to their relief.

The protesters blocked the Zaida-Topi Road, suspending traffic for long hours.

They warned that they would close the road for an indefinite period if the power transformer was replaced and the power supply restored.

Bacha Gul and other speakers said the locals repaired the 100kv transformer by themselves a few days ago but it had gone out of order yet again.

They announced that they would no longer collect donations for the transformer’s repairs as it was Pesco’s job to fix the problem.

In Kohat district, finance minister Aftab Alam and other local lawmakers met Pesco officials and urged them to ensure the effective implementation of the loadshedding schedule.

Published in Dawn, June 22nd, 2024

Opinion

Editorial

Afghan challenge
15 Jul, 2024

Afghan challenge

THE recently released UN monitoring team’s report on Afghanistan captures the dilemma confronting the ...
‘Complete’ justice
15 Jul, 2024

‘Complete’ justice

NOW that the matter of PTI’s reserved seats stands resolved, there are several equally pressing issues pertaining...
Drug fog
15 Jul, 2024

Drug fog

THE country has an old drug problem. While the menace has raged across divides of class and gender, successive ...
Miles to go
Updated 14 Jul, 2024

Miles to go

Some reforms agreed with the Fund are going to seriously impact economic growth and fresh investments, at least in the short term.
Iddat ruling
14 Jul, 2024

Iddat ruling

IT was a needless, despicable spectacle which only ended up uniting both conservatives and progressives in ...
Cricket shake-up
14 Jul, 2024

Cricket shake-up

SOMEONE had to take the blame and bear the brunt of the fallout from Pakistan’s disastrous showing at the T20 ...