PESHAWAR: The Peshawar High Court (PHC) on Thursday summoned managing director of National Transmission & Despatch Company (NTDC) along with complete loadshedding record and warned of issuing the arrest warrant if he failed to appear on the next hearing.
A two-member bench comprising Chief Justice Dost Muhammad Khan and Justice Waqar Ahmad Seth issued the directives in a suo moto notice case against the police baton-charge, arrest and firing at the people protesting against loadshedding in Bannu district.
The bench also directed Peshawar Electric Supply Company (Pesco) chief executive to carry out loadshedding across the province on rational basis, adding no discrimination would be tolerated in this regard.
Pesco Chief Executive Abdul Lateef Khan appeared in the court. He informed the bench that currently the country needed 17,500 megawatts electricity whereas the total production was 10,500 megawatts.
About the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, he said the province share was 16 percent and was currently receiving 1,100 megawatts. He said if the province’s local production of electricity was included the total electricity production of the province becomes 1,310 megawatts, while its requirement is 2,835 megawatts.
About the present loadshedding situation in the province, the Pesco chief said 12 hours loadshedding was being carried out in urban and 14 hours in the rural areas. However, he said the loadshedding duration would be reduced after increase in the electricity production.
The chief justice observed that the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa was producing about 2,000 megawatts of cheap electricity but from the national grid the same electricity was being given to the people of the province on higher rates.
The chief justice observed the provincial government should take up this matter with the federal government.
He also remarked that Pesco officials were also involved in power theft at large scale and the officials had invited the ways and means of thefts to the people and even today women were involved in power theft in the houses.
The chief justice observed that patients were dying at hospitals due to massive loadshedding while the students were suffering from heat stroke in schools. He said industrial units were closed rendering thousands of poor people jobless.
The bench withdrew the transfer order of Senior Superintendent of Police and Station House Officer of the Saddar Police Station in Bannu after the protesters and police reached an out-of-court settlement.
Bannu District Coordination Officer Atif Rehman, District Police Officer Waqar Ahmad and the station house officer of the police station concerned appeared in the court.They said the police did not want any action against the anti-loadshedding protesters and that the incident was inadvertent.