Excessive power outages greet KP people on first day of Ramazan
TIMERGARA: On the first day of Ramazan on Sunday, people of various towns and cities in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa sustained prolonged power outages and low voltage, particularly at Sehar and Iftar.
In Lower Dir, Jamaat-i-Islami activists and local government representatives threatened to besiege the offices of Pesco in the area if duration of power outages was not decreased during Ramazan.
Speaking at a news conference in Timergara, JI lawmaker Izazul Mulk Afkari said the duration of power outage in the district, particularly in his PK-95 constituency, had reached to 18 hours and locals were finding it hard to get drinking water f rom wells.
Mr Afkari said JI MNA Sahibzada Yaqub Khan and MPA Saeed Gul had met the Pesco chief at Peshawar and informed him about the miseries of Jandol people due to outages. He said the Pesco chief had assured the lawmakers that the duration of power outage would be decreased in the area, but the Pesco ofhcials were not following the directives of their chief.
He said six of the union councils in his constituency had been getting electricity turn by turn. He said hospitals and mosques were also running short of water. He threatened to besiege Pesco of fices and grid stations in Lower Dir and hold protests if the prolonged poweroutages did not end.
Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf activists also gave a 48-hour deadline to Pesco authorities to end power loadshedding or face tough resistance.
PTI, Lower Dir joint secretary Syed Alam Shah told mediapersons that various areas of the district were hit by low voltage and over 16 hours of power outages. He said with the start of Ramazan voltage had dropped that could not run fans or water pumps.
In Lakki Marwat, the local people, perturbed by excessive power blackouts, have thronged the city bazaars to purchase solar powered fans and air-coolers to beat the sizzling heat.
Instead of buying foodstuffs for Iftar or Sehri, people can be seen arguing with traders on the prices of solar panels, fans and air-coolers. `We have no option but to rely on solar powered appliances as excessive electricity outages have made our lives miserable,` said a local resident who had come to the market to buy an air-cooler.
Another resident said air-coolers run by solar power were available at Rs5,000 to Rs6,000 in the local market, while the rates of pedestal and ceiling fans were also affordable.
He said installation of one or two solar panels was suf ficient to run these appliances.
A trader said residents were increasingly buying air-coolers, pedestal and ceiling fans run on solar power. `People also buy UPS (uninterrupted power supply) system to run solarpowered appliances at night,` he maintained In Mansehra, traders threatened protest against Pesco as the district witnessed over 12 hours of power outages on the first day of Ramazan.
`Pesco even carried out loadshedding at Sehr and Iftar timings, troubling the people alot, despite the government announcement that such timings would be spared of outages, Mohammad Fiaz Solaria, a leader of traders` body, told reporters.
`The frequent power outages in the scorching heat are unbearable to people and the government should take notice of it,` he said, adding power disruptions had also caused water scarcity in the city and its suburbs.
`The business community of the city would come onto the roads if Pesco did not mend its ways,` threatened Mr Solaria.
In Kohat, the Pesco consumers had a terrible first night of Ramazan due to complete blackout exactly 15 minutes before Taraveeh till midnight followed by low voltage till Sehri on Saturday night.
The power breakdown in the whole Kohat district caused torture to the domestic consumers and the people of fered Taraveeh in sweltering heat and later could not sleep.
Also, the frequent fluctuations marred the functioning of f ans and ACs with frequent tripping at the Rawalpindi Road grid station.
The electricity remained cut off for 18 to 20 hours in Hangu Road areas of Kohat and the rural areas up to Sharkardarra and Gumbat, Hangu, Thall, Doaba, Darsamand and Darra Adamkhel.
The people said that they had installed solar systems, but they charged during the day and worked for a couple of hours in the night.
The officials blamed huge arrears against the consumers of these areas for prolonged outages and said despite appeals they did not pay a penny to Pesco. `We have clear orders from the headquarters to cut off supply to the areas which show losses on the feeders and also carry out loadshedding in parts according to payment of bills and ratio of thef t,` said an of ficial.