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Friday June 14, 2024

PTI MPA, supporters storm grid station

Pesco asked police to lodge a case against PTI MPA and around 500 of his supporters after they stormed a grid station

By Javed Aziz Khan
May 26, 2024
Police officer is seen trying to calm down citizens at the Hazarkhawani grid station in Peshawar on May 25, 2024, in this still taken from a video. — YouTube/Geo News Live
Police officer is seen trying to calm down citizens at the Hazarkhawani grid station in Peshawar on May 25, 2024, in this still taken from a video. — YouTube/Geo News Live

PESHAWAR: The Peshawar Electric Supply Company (Pesco) on Saturday asked the police to lodge a case against a member of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly and around 500 of his supporters after they stormed a grid station and took over control of power supply.

A member of the provincial assembly (MPA) belonging to the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf from Peshawar, Fazal Ilahi, along with a large number of villagers from Hazarkhwani, Usmania Town, Dora Road, Surizai, Garhi Qamardin, Garhi Atta Muhammad, Bahadur Killay and other towns staged a demonstration outside the grid station on the Ring Road to protest the hours long breakdowns in their areas.

Despite the deployment of heavy contingents of police outside the grid station, they could not stop Fazal Ilahi and hundreds of charged protesters from entering the building.

The protesters restored power supply to all the villages. The MPA announced they will take control of the Sheikh Muhammadi and Kohat Road grid stations on Sunday if the power breakdowns were not stopped.

The protesters alleged that the staff of Pesco, supported by their unions and officers, were involved in power theft. They said consumers have to pay the price in the form of heavy bills as well as face 12 to 21 hours of power shutdown in rural towns.

The protesters said there are villages on both sides of Kohat Road where power supply was suspended for the last many weeks while thieves have also stolen power cables from the poles as they knew there was no current in these lines.

Pesco executive engineer later filed an application with the Peshawar Police that the MPA along with around 400 to 500 people stormed the Hazarkhwani grid station and activated six feeders for several hours, causing 70,000 units loss worth Rs3.6 million to the state exchequer.

They asked for lodging a case against the protesters for forcibly breaking into the grid station and taking control of the system.

A few days back, Chief Minister Ali Amin Gandapur had warned Pesco and federal government to reduce the duration of power breakdowns or he will take control of the system and offices.

Last year, a number of offices and grid stations were stormed by the protesters due to long breakdowns. The same happens every summer while the government and authorities are yet to find a solution to the issue.