PESHAWAR: The Peshawar High Court (PHC) Wednesday directed the National Power Control Cell (NPCC) to implement uniform power load-shedding schedule across the country or face 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 scheduled load-shedding across the country on rational basis.
The bench said no discrimination would be tolerated towards that end. It directed the official to also start uniform load-shedding in the VVIPs and VIPs localities in the capital city like areas inhabited by the general public.
The bench also issued directives to the federal government through deputy attorney general Muhammad Iqbal Mohmand and NPCC general manager to explain the court under what laws the National Transmission and Despatch Company (NTDC) and NPCC were established to exercise the control and transmission power of the electricity and plug the power of certain provinces whenever the control power system was under heavy burden and unscheduled load-shedding observed in the provinces.
The bench directed the government to explain whether the Council of Common Interest (CCI) had given the mandate to the government to establish these institutions.
To a query, the NPCC general manager said VVIPs and VIPs localities and red-zones in Islamabad were exempt from load-shedding. The bench was hearing suo moto notice case against the police baton-charge, arrest and firing at the people protesting against load-shedding in Bannu.
The Peshawar Electric Supply Company (Pesco) Chief Executive Officer Brig (r) Tariq Sadozai attended the hearing.To a question, the official said the Pesco had exempted main hospitals including Lady Reading Hospital, Khyber Teaching Hospital, Hayatabad Medical Complex, Rehman Medical Institute and North-West Hospital.
He said the Central Prison Peshawar was also exempt from load-shedding at night-time. When the Pesco chief said that Governor’s House and Chief Minister’s House were exempt from the load-shedding, the chief justice said he had not asked the company to exempt these houses from load-shedding.
The bench asked the Pesco chief to exempt from load-shedding all the district hospitals across the province, blood donation centres and those centres where anti-polio vaccines were being kept.The court also directed him to visit all the divisions of the province and hear public problems and remove their grievances regarding unscheduled load-shedding.The bench adjourned the case to August 29.