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Sunday July 21, 2024

Interior ministry's help sought after KP grid station incidents

Such incidents are happening in Mardan, Charsadda, Tank, Bannu and Peshawar due to power outages, says minister

By Web Desk
June 20, 2024
Federal Minister for Interior, Mohsin Naqvi (left) and Energy Minister Awais Leghari exchange views with KP CM Ali Amin Gandapur during a meeting held in Islamabad on Sunday, May 26, 2024. — PPI
Federal Minister for Interior, Mohsin Naqvi (left) and Energy Minister Awais Leghari exchange views with KP CM Ali Amin Gandapur during a meeting held in Islamabad on Sunday, May 26, 2024. — PPI

ISLAMABAD: A day after Khyber Pakhtunkhwa saw forceful power resumption in various grid stations, Federal Energy Minister Awais Leghari wrote a letter to Interior Minister Mohsin Naqvi, seeking his help in dealing with the perpetrators following protests against prolonged load-shedding across the province.

In his letter to the interior minister, Leghari lamented that the gate-crashing incidents took pace under the leadership of responsible people and referred to the involvement of lawmakers in the raids.

The minister added that these incidents happened in Mardan, Charsadda, Tank, Bannu and Peshawar due to power outages, and mentioned sharing a report by the chief executive officer of the Peshawar Electric Supply Company (Pesco).

"Provincial assembly members and others gave illegal orders to grid station staff regarding power restoration," the letter read, adding that this situation poses a threat to the safety of grid stations and personnel.

Leghari sought the interior ministry’s help after KP Chief Minister Ali Amin Gandapur forcefully entered a grid station in Dera Ismail Khan and forcibly restored the power supply, declaring his "very own" loadshedding plan.

The chief minister raided the facility after an electricity loadshedding dispute in the province reached a critical point.

"No area will face loadshedding beyond 12 hours. Assembly members should visit grid stations in their respective areas to ensure compliance with the load-shedding schedule," CM Gandapur said, and warned the federal government over the matter.

The energy minister, on the other hand, insisted that a lot of losses and power theft occur on these feeders where power has been restored forcibly.

Leghari, in his letter, stated that the police are not registering cases against those responsible.

"This is encouraging the people of other districts to take the law into their hands," he wrote, requesting that the interior minister direct law enforcement agencies to provide tight security on grids.

"Unrelated persons should be prevented from entering grids. PESCO authority to file cases against those who trespass in grid stations," Leghari's letter read.

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 Naqvi and Leghari on the issue and they agreed to solve the matter amicably through negotiations.