KP CM Gandapur, Pesco chief agree on new loadshedding schedule after 'takeover threat'

CM Gandapur holds the federal government and Pesco responsible for line losses in his province

Web Desk

PESHAWAR: A day after threatening to take over the entire system of the Peshawar Electric Supply Company (Pesco), firebrand Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) Chief Minister Ali Amin Gandapur and the power utility company have agreed on a new loadshedding schedule in the province.

The development came during a meeting between the provincial chief executive and the Pesco chief in Peshawar, paving the way for relief to the masses amid the sweltering hot summer.

Enraged by the hours-long unannounced power outages in KP, CM Gandapur on Wednesday threatened to take over the headquarters of the power distribution company, if the federal government didn’t reduce the duration of the power loadshedding in the province from that night.

In the huddle with the KP chief executive, the Pesco chief assured to reduce the duration of power outages in the province.

As the new schedule was agreed between the duo, those areas that were earlier experiencing 22 hours of loadshedding will now brace with 18 hours of a power outage.”

Similarly, the areas where people were bracing an 18-hour electricity loadshedding will now experience a 14-hour power cut.

In a bid to ensure the implementation of the new schedule, CM Gandapur said that the Pesco official would meet the chief secretary today.

“A case should be filed against the relevant XEN (executive engineer) if there is a loadshedding even one minute more than the schedule in any grid,” he warned.

The chief minister also said that they were ready to talk with the federal government to solve the electricity-related issues. He, however, further said that talks with the Centre are not possible until immediate relief to the masses.

“The provincial government wants to give relief to the people by deducting the amount from its dues [to the Centre].”

He held the federal government and Pesco responsible for line losses in the province.

Last week, lambasting the Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif-led federal government over expensive electricity and “worst loadshedding”, Gandapur asked the Centre to pay the KP's dues.

Speaking at a press conference in DI Khan, the provincial chief executive said: “Electricity is being supplied to our people at high rates.”

“It would be their mistake if they [Centre] think that we will remain silent on this injustice,” he warned.

Moving on to the economic challenges and the upcoming first budget of the CM Gandapur-led government, the proviral chief executive said: “There is a deficit of more than Rs450 billion.”

The federal government had to clear KP’s Rs1.51 trillion dues under Net Hydel Profit, he added.

“In the [previous] PTI’s term, electricity was being provided at Rs15 per unit. [But] now, the utility’s rate is Rs65 per unit and it is not even available.”

“I am not seeking charity for our people,” he told the federal government.