Pesco seeks action against PTI MNA for storming grid stations

"The incident has resulted in huge financial loss to the public exchequer," says the Pesco in its request

By Mushtaq Paracha
June 20, 2024
PTI MNA Zulfiqar Khan speaks as he storms a grid station. — Screengrab/reporter

NOWSHERA: The Peshawar Electric Supply Company (Pesco) has requested the district police and administration to lodge a first information report (FIR) against Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) MNA Zulfiqar Khan for forcibly restoring electricity supply to different areas.

The development took place after the lawmaker stormed two grid stations, Pabbi and Taroja, with a group of his supporters and coercively restored the electricity supply to 17 feeders.

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“The incident has resulted in huge financial loss to the public exchequer,” the Pesco said in its request.

Similar incidents of using force to restore power supply have happened in Mardan, Charsadda, Tank, Bannu, Dera Ismail Khan (DI Khan), and Peshawar too.

Chief Minister Ali Amin Gandapur himself Wednesday stormed a grid station, restoring power in some areas in DI Khan, and laid down his own outage plan as the loadshedding row worsened in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa with lawmakers raiding the power controlling facilities and abusing their powers.

On the occasion, CM Gandapur fixed the loadshedding duration at 12 hours.

"No area will face loadshedding beyond 12 hours. Assembly members should visit grid stations in their respective areas to ensure compliance with the loadshedding schedule," he said.

The trend of forcibly entering power grid stations in KP began after Member Provincial Assembly (MPA) Fazal Elahi, a member of the PTI-backed Sunni Ittehad Council (SIC), strong-armed his way into the Rehman Baba grid station in Peshawar on Tuesday and restored power in his area after protests erupted due to loadshedding.

In May, too, enraged citizens in the KP capital city had restored electricity by storming into the Hazar Khawani grid station, after incessant loadshedding led to protests in the midst of scorching weather.

It is important to note that Gandapur had held a series of meetings last month with Interior Minister Mohsin Naqvi and energy minister Awais Leghari on the issue and they agreed to solve the matter amicably through negotiations.

Meanwhile, the Pesco provided details about the provincewide electricity feeders and how long loadshedding they were suffering in a day. The power utility said it had more than 1,300 feeders in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and they were categorised for loadshedding as per line losses in the areas.

“Only two-hour loadshedding is carried out on 156 feeders. 135 feeders having 20-30 % losses are suffering from loadshedding of six hours. Seven-hour outage is being conducted on 96 feeders experiencing 30-40 % losses. 143 feeders bearing losses of 40-60 % are facing power cut for 12 hours. Loadshedding for 16 hours is being carried out on 157 feeders sustaining 60-80 % losses and 20-hour of power cut is being suffered by 159 feeders facing 80 % losses,” Pesco's spokesperson said.

The Pesco official said loadshedding duration for urban areas was from four to six hours, while suburban areas were facing loadshedding up to 16 hours.

The spokesperson said losses born by the company were high because of electricity theft and non-payment of arrears.

“It is inevitable to carry out more load management on feeders with high losses,” the spokesperson said.

Meanwhile, PTI workers held a protest on Malakand road against loadshedding in Mardan. Negotiations were held between the protestors and Wapda officials as the demonstrators staged a sit-in outside the Wapda office.

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