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Saturday May 27 2017

Load shedding woes: Another day, another grid station under PTI assault in Peshawar

For second day running, PTI MPA Fazal Elahi leads workers into a grid station - Geo News screengrab 

PESHAWAR: Dozens of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) workers led by local MPA Fazal Elahi stormed the Rehman Baba grid station in the Hazarkhwani area of the city on Saturday.

Despite a large police presence on the site, the PTI workers managed to enter parts of the 132-KV grid station.

The protesters have demanded the Peshawar Electric Supply Company (PESCO) to resume the supply of electricity to their area and want load shedding to end completely.

On Friday, a similar horde of PTI workers, led by the same MPA, had attacked several grid stations in the city and forcefully switched on the closed power feeders to their areas after entering the premises.

Later, reports stated that PESCO officials registered an FIR against the PTI MPA at the Yakatoot police station. However, any action is yet to be taken against the MPA and his comrades.

Protesters said they have returned on Saturday and resorted to similar action after load-shedding resumed following the conclusion of their protest on Friday.

A night at the grid station

PTI workers having Sehri at the grid station on Saturday morning. Photo: Geo News

Earlier, PTI workers pulled off a ‘people’s coup’ after an elected local government official along with party workers spent Friday night at Taj Abad grid station of the city after taking control of it earlier in the day.

The PTI workers, led by the local nazim, also consumed their Sehri meal at the station, as large parts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa are observing the first day of Ramazan from Saturday.

A PTI worker in the grid station. Photo: Geo News

Sources claimed that the intruders disrupted PESCO’s load-shedding schedule, and continued the supply of electricity to high-loss areas — contrary to PESCO’s procedures.

In the morning, the intruders left the premises for their homes and the facility was taken over by PESCO once again.

The PTI is the ruling party in the province, however, PESCO is run by the federal government, led by Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz.

There have been several protests against the power utility this year as load-shedding continues across the province. However, PESCO officials claim they have to cut power supply to areas with extremely high line losses to manage the load.

They said as they left the grid station in the morning, load-shedding resumed.