PESHAWAR, May 18: Suspected militants destroyed two power pylons on the outskirts of the city on Wednesday, causing suspension of electricity supply in many localities of the Peshawar district, police said.
Peshawar Electric Supply Company spokesman Shaukat Afzal, however, claimed that the pylons were hit and destroyed during an operation by law enforcement agencies against militants in Sarband area.
An official of Sarband police station said that the pylons stood on the border with Khyber tribal region. “The area is far away from the police station,” he added.
He said it could not be ascertained whether explosive charges or heavy weapons brought down the pylons.
Neither the officials of the Bomb Disposal Unit who visited the site could determine that for sure. “It seems that the towers were targeted by rockets,” they said when contacted.
In any case, the destruction of the pylons caused power suspension in the entire district for a long period that provoked protest demonstrations at various places.
In Peshawar city, enraged power consumers took to the streets in Tehkal locality and blocked University Road to all kinds of traffic. The protesters chanted slogans against government all the time.
They were also carrying banners and placards inscribed with slogans against government and Pesco.
They said that prolonged power outages had totally paralysed business activities in the area. “The electricity disappears repeatedly with short intervals, making our lives miserable,” they added.
The protesters alleged that Pesco was least bothered to ensure smooth power supply to its consumers. The company was sending inflated bills to them every month, they added.
Protest demonstrations were also held on Charsadda Road and Kohat Road.
The protesters said that they were also facing acute shortage of water owing to power outages.
The students of Peshawar University also held a demonstration and blocked Jamrud Road and smashed signboards.
The students, shouting slogans against the government, came out from different hostels and gathered at the main gate of the university.
The protesters dispersed after blocking the road for some time and breaking few signboards.
Pesco spokesman said that 132 KV transmission line towers were damaged owing to which power supply from University Town grid station and Peshawar Industrial grid station was suspended.
He said that the towers were destroyed during operation against militants in Sarband area by law enforcement agencies.
The technical staff of Pesco, he claimed, immediately started repair and rehabilitation work and restored electricity to the affected areas from alternate sources.
He said that the staff of the power company was busy in repairing of the destroyed towers.
He hoped that supply of electricity would be normalised within a few days.