Loadshedding protests continue across Punjab

Published: June 18, 2012

Gilani takes notice of prolonged electricity outage, summons petroleum minister. PHOTO: EXPRESS/FILE

KARACHI: Loadshedding and power protests continued in Punjab, with the electricity shortfall quoted at 8,000 megawatts and some areas reported to be without power supply for longer than eight hours at a stretch, Express News reported on Monday.

Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani has taken notice of the prolonged electricity outages and has summoned the petroleum minister.

Authorities said in order to cope with the increasing shortfall of power supply, loadshedding had to be stretched to longer hours.

Grid stations in different areas of Lahore have been shut since 7am. Moreover, due to prolonged absence of power supply in southern Lahore, the city suffers from a shortage of water supply as well. Areas like Jhang, Toba Tek Singh and Chiniot receive power supply for only three hours a day.

Various cities under FESCO (Faisalabad Electricity Supply Company) go through 20 hours of severe loadshedding. While more than 22 hours of loadshedding in villages has disturbed daily life routines.

Sukkur and internal Sindh cities face 12hours of loadshedding daily, while villages go through 16 hours of no power supply. As a result of the severe energy crisis, businesses are suffering, and hundred thousands of labourers are unemployed.

Passenger train set on fire

Three bogeys of a passenger train were set on fire by angry protestors in Kamoke. The train was travelling to Sialkot from Lahore.

Pakistan Railways has temporarily suspended services of at least 20 trains travelling from Lahore to Rawalpindi, including four Railroad cars, two Awam Express trains, Lasani, Allama Iqbal and Khyber Express.

According to GM Railways, this step has been taken to avoid protesters from damaging further more trains.

The protestors had first pelted the train with stones, forcing the passengers out, before setting it on fire. No casualties were reported in the incident.

Earlier in Kamoke, protestors had also tried to set grid stations on fire.

Civilians protest against loadshedding

Infuriated mobs in different areas of Faisalabad carried out rallies against the ongoing power crisis, while enraged people pelted stones and broke windows of three private banks near Dhandiwala. Protestors damaged ATM machines and CNG stations in the area.

Protests continued despite baton charging by the police. The mob looted stores and stole from fruit vendors.

Traffic was blocked by burning tyres on Marine Road.

Protestors armed with sticks in Khanewal, forcefully shut down shops of the area. The SHO of the city arrived on the scene, infuriating the mob even further. As a result the SHO took hostage in a house, on which the protestors started stoning the building.

The demonstrators were dispersed through aerial firing and shelling which injured seven.

Demonstrations also took place in Jahaniya, Pakpattan and Lahore.

Infuriated protesters barged into the LESCO (Lahore Electricity Supply Company) office, burning documents and furniture, and ran away with the electricity wires.

Protests continued for several hours while police was nowhere to be seen.

The GT Road was shut down due to the protests at Sadhuki.

Wapda offices and educational institutions were set on fire near Sargodha.

The Gepco office was set on fire in Hafizabad, while at Zafarwal, Federal Minister Tariq Anees’ caravan was stopped. Three people were injured when the guard opened fire.

View pictures of the protests here.

Reader Comments (23)

  • Ordinary Villager
    Jun 18, 2012 - 3:14PM

    PMLN is cashing in on Load shedding besides they know they have the right to produce electricity on their own and they can give some money to IPPs and they will produce electricity for them. On the other hand PTI another powerful party in Punjab better known as dharna party could have have Dharnas for Drones and for Chief Justice but for loadshedding which is leading to many suicides around Punjab is not their problem as may Be Brown Race is getting problems this time rather than a Caucassian race from North West So Imran Khan have no interest in it. As far as PPP is concerned i dont want to even listen their name. All Parties are Opportunists and no one is a sincere of Pakistan. Only a Bloody Revolution will change this country otherwise we will remain the same.

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  • citizen
    Jun 18, 2012 - 3:36PM

    My God ! This loadshedding crisis is making people mentally sick and frustrated. Sure these people have lost hope, thats why they are out on roads spreading destruction . This problem is getting worse day by day :(

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  • maddy ali
    Jun 18, 2012 - 3:37PM

    well well well, here are some poetic facts
    90% people of a province pays electricity bill and they get electricity for almost 10 hours only…90% experiencing load shedding because they pay their bills!!
    30% people of a province pays electricity bill and they get electricity for almost 10 hours only…70% enjoying electricity for not paying bills
    20% people of a province pays electricity bill and they get electricity for almost 10 hours only…
    10% people of a province pays electricity bill and they get electricity for almost 10 hours only…
    welcome to JUNGLE, bring it on !!

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  • Kaleem
    Jun 18, 2012 - 3:48PM

    The photo caption quite well explains the root cause of this self destructive load shedding:

    “Gilani takes notice of prolonged electricity outage, summons petroleum minister”

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  • Ajamal
    Jun 18, 2012 - 3:53PM

    Yesterday President Zardari took “notice”, today PM Gilani takes “notice”.
    Any more takers!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  • Kashif
    Jun 18, 2012 - 3:55PM

    Plate Vote PPP & PML-N again. This report shows happiness of Pakistani people. Love to PPP & PML-N.

    Thanks for making our lives perfect!

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  • Ajamal
    Jun 18, 2012 - 4:00PM

    “Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani has taken notice of the prolonged electricity outages and has summoned the petroleum minister.”

    ls electricity generation and distribution not the responsibility of the ministry of water & power? Or the truth is that it is really the issue of paying money for fuel – not generation capacity? PM should stop blaming Musharraf and Punjab !!

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  • JB
    Jun 18, 2012 - 4:43PM

    Yes, Gilani and Zardari took ‘notice’ of the load shedding while in their generator powered govt. financed air conditioned rooms!

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  • mr. righty rightist
    Jun 18, 2012 - 4:51PM

    I don’t understand these protests.

    Didn’t you vow to eat grass for country’s security. Power cut is a small price to pay.

    Besides, take a leaf out of Prophet Mohammed’s (PBUH) life’s book. Did he not live without electricity?

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  • shahid
    Jun 18, 2012 - 4:55PM

    No more a news. How many times he did so and what was the outcome? Can anybody help counting?

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  • Haris
    Jun 18, 2012 - 5:22PM

    @mr. righty rightist:
    I dont know how you can say that mr righty rightist, maybe you should take your children and come to my house and try to spend a night,When your children cry because of the heat and no fan or a.c then i will see how small of a price it is to pay.

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  • TheOne
    Jun 18, 2012 - 5:44PM

    Legitimate powercuts are something any citizen would understand but the ones going on right now are sheer bullying. There has been zero progress in trying create new sources of electricity or even alternative sources of it and from the looks of it there will be no attempt.

    And the funny thing is my grandmother who lived through the old Bhutto era said that now that PPP is in power food, water, electricity is going to disappear. How right she was. That’s how PPP work.

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  • londonistani
    Jun 18, 2012 - 6:22PM

    pakistani masses in general are fools. these people will once more elect PPP in the next election. these people first elected zardari and now paying the price, but i m telling you they are going to vote him again and again because for them loyalty to their sardar, boss, chaudry, peer is greater then to the nation as a whole. even if my own father contests on PPP ticket i would never vote for him.

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  • Asim Khan
    Jun 18, 2012 - 10:36PM

    What will happen when those who are suppose to provide us power are also protesting. Go and do your job. There is no point in getting political mileage from it.

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  • ghaled gussain
    Jun 18, 2012 - 11:20PM

    These protests are very mild and nothing will change. burning of grid stations or completely destroying offices of electricity department along with their equipments is the only way to bring pressure on the politicians till then we can be happy with politicians taking notice only.Recommend

  • Sherlock Holmes
    Jun 19, 2012 - 12:32AM

    Violence will not add one megawatt of power to the grid. In fact it will make the situation worse. Instead if everyone pays his/her electricity bills honestly it will automatically improve the things.

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  • Pakistani
    Jun 19, 2012 - 12:39AM

    Lets bring these protests outside parliement house and outside the houses of the people in power, nawaz sharif, zardari, kiyani, only then any change will occur, while the protests happen on streets far away from the comfort of the people in power they won’t do anything.

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  • Ali
    Jun 19, 2012 - 12:44AM

    Where is PTI, Mr. Imran if you are with people than lead the people otherwise all of you ve to wait till 2022 for election

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  • Usman Ghani
    Jun 19, 2012 - 1:24AM

    ET has not mentioned the five people killed in Khanewal by the gunmen of PM Gillani in who had come for PM advisor Ahead Use Haraj’s security. The latter ordered to open fire on them and five killed as a result. The media is downplaying this story.

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  • DB
    Jun 19, 2012 - 1:56AM

    @mr. righty rightist:
    Yes, we will eat grass if we have security and justice. We have neither security, justice or electricity. Liberals have ruined our country.

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  • Muhammad.
    Jun 19, 2012 - 2:15AM

    Peaceful protests are part of a democratic process and should be appreciated. But why are we destroying our own infrastructure? If you watch the videos of todays events closely, most of the protestors look younger than 15 years of age. They smile and wave at the camera after destroying property, as if it is just another form of entertainment for them.

    I blame the police, who were mere spectators during the fiasco. May be the punjab government or PML-N to be specific, was behind these protests.

    If they were so frustrated and wanted to protest against the government only, why would they go into Kohinoor shopping center Faislabad, and become a couple of hundred looters, taking away valuables.

    The government, police and army should take a stronger stance against such protestors and order for STRICT punishments (criminal proceedings) for any one who destroys public property.

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  • Arshad Khhan
    Jun 19, 2012 - 8:51AM

    This no eligible man to continue this system Yes, we will eat grass if we have security and justice. We have neither security, justice or electricity. Liberals have ruined our country.

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  • Ahmer Ali
    Jun 19, 2012 - 10:13AM

    Interestingly and amazingly despite seeing and knowing the facts and realities the Pakistan’s Federal Finance Minister and convicted ex-PM Gillani say that Pakistan’s economy is going towards the right direction and all is well.And is this is so then definitely and absolutely they are deaf and blind by heart and are the victims of power’s addiction and camouflaging the realities and truths from the nation intentionally.

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