Wednesday May 17, 2017
PESHAWAR: A protest by the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) on Wednesday against electricity load-shedding and overbilling in the province partially subsided after one group of protesters called off their demonstration.
Earlier in the day, charged PTI workers led by the party's MNA from South Waziristan, Ayesha Gulalai Wazir, and local district leadership, stormed the WAPDA House in Peshawar during their protest against power cuts.
"The federal government receives taxes from the citizens but does not provide basic facilities in return," Gulalai said, as party workers chanted slogans against the federal government.
She further alleged that PESCO [province's power company] is run as per the directives of Pakistan Muslim League - Nawaz (PML-N) leader Amir Muqam and Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl president Maulana Fazlur Rehman
"The protest shall continue till unannounced load-shedding ends," Gulalai said.
However, later in the day, the protesters split into two groups with one initiating negotiations with the PESCO management and subsequently calling off their protest.
"The province has not been subjected to any unscheduled or unannounced load shedding," a PESCO spokesperson said. "Seventy percent of the protestors belong to high-loss areas."
A maximum of eighty percent loss due to electricity theft has been recorded in Gulalai's area Jandokhel, the PESCO spokesperson added.
He further stated that 18-hours of load-shedding is only effective in areas that have 70 to 100 percent electricity loss, and said that if these areas agree to the installation of billing meters, load-shedding hours can be reduced in this area.