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Consumers suffer as Iesco staff on strike

TAXILA, Dec 7: Due to a strike by Iesco revenue department employees here, consumers visiting the office from far-off areas of Taxila and Hassanabdal are suffering a lot.  

The employees are on a pen-down strike for over two weeks against non-construction of their office building which was burnt by protesters a few months back. They say they have been working in the damaged office even without furniture.

The employees have now set up a protest camp outside the office of the executive engineer (Xen) of Iesco which is located at a far distance.

“I came to the revenue office of Iesco at Thatta Khalil Road from Brahma near Bhattar Interchange to get my bill rectified but the office was locked. I was told to visit the camp office established in a tent in front of the Xen office in Wahdat Colony. When I reached there in a public transport, I came to know that the officials were on a strike,” said Faheem Iqbal. He added that the consumers had become a shuttlecock due to the apathy of the authorities concerned.

Another consumer Sadaqat Ali, of Hassanabdal, said consumers were bearing the brunt of the strike. He said the consumers had to travel an extra mile and pay extra fare for getting their bills corrected or resolving other matters. Malik Tahir Suleman, a consumer from village Dhabian, said the consumers were facing inconvenience and extra trouble due to the internal politics in Iesco.

When contacted, Mohammad Sadeeq, an official of the revenue office, said due to the pathetic, depilated and shabby condition of the office, they first observed a pen-down strike for two weeks and then established their camp office in front of the Xen to get the attention of the authorities.

The office-bearers of Wapda union including Noor Ahmad, Sammar Shah and Raheem Shah told newsmen that the revenue office was ransacked and set on fire by protesters.

They said the windows and doors were burnt down but due to non-repair they were facing problems in continuing their work in the cold weather.

A spokesman for Iesco Taxila circle said they were aware of the sufferings of the consumers and problems of the staff. He added that the case of the building renovation had already been submitted to the authorities and work would be initiated after sanctioning of the budget.