PESHAWAR: The Peshawar High Court (PHC) orders to the Peshawar Electric Supply Company (Pesco) to have uniform schedule of loadshedding in urban and rural areas are being openly violated.
On July 18 the PHC division bench headed by Chief Justice Dost Muhammad Khan summoned the Pesco Chief Executive Officer Brig (R) Tariq Sadozai and issued the orders. The bench had said no discrimination would be tolerated towards that end. It had directed him to ensure uniform loadshedding in the VVIPs and VIPs localities in Peshawar the way it was being done in the areas inhabited by the general public.
However, about 18 hours of unscheduled loadshedding is being carried out in rural areas in Ramazan. The Pesco chief had claimed in the court that only 8 to 12 hours scheduled loadshedding was being carried out in the rural and urban areas of the province.
In most rural areas of Mardan district, about 20 hours unscheduled loadshedding was being carried out. Villagers in Katlang area told The News that they were experiencing 20 hours loadshedding a day. “During the scorching heat in the day-time, there is almost eight to 10 hours loadshedding,” said Mumraiz Khan, who runs a clinic in the area, adding power is restored for only one or two hours and then discontinued for an indefinite period again. In frustration, some consumers in Katlang threw their monthly electricity bills in the canal to record their protest.
Protests have turned violent in parts of the province and Wapda offices and grid-stations are now being attacked. The offices of the ruling ANP and its lawmakers are also coming under attack.
During hearing of a case of unscheduled power outages, Chief Justice Dost Muhammad Khan had said that embezzlement up to 70 percent was taking place in the provision of furnace oil to the Independent Power Producers (IPPs). He had warned that he would be compelled to pass strict order against the corrupt officials if the misappropriation continued. He was hearing a suo moto notice case about the frequent loadshedding.
The PHC on July 18 had also directed the National Power Control Cell (NPCC) to implement uniform loadshedding schedule across the country or face court action. A division bench comprising Chief Justice Dost Muhammad Khan and Justice Syed Sajjad Hassan Shah directed the NPCC General Manager Masood Akhtar to carry out uniform scheduled loadshedding across the country.