The unscheduled power of over 18 hours has brought residents to wits’ end in Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK).
Agitated over the situation, a mob set ablaze the electricity department office in Barnala, a town of Bhimbher district.
Also, a shutter-down strike was observed in different parts of Rawalakot over the prolonged power outages. People from diverse segments of the society took part in the protest, including businessmen and lawyers.
In Mirpur, intermittent street demonstrations have been continuing since late Thursday night when large number of the power consumers thronged the city streets bringing out a procession from the thickly-populated are of Faazil Chowk.
The demonstrations continued in various localities of the city including sector F/1, Shaheed Chowk and other areas on Friday over not only the unscheduled power outages but also the acute shortage of drinking water.
Despite the scorching heat, the furious protesters passed through main city streets including Mian Muhammad Road and Press Club Road. They chanted slogans against the Water and Power Development Authority and the local Electricity Department.
An official of the AJK Public Health Engineering Department — which is responsible for water supply in Mirpur — said that the tube wells cannot operate without power. Resultantly, the water has not filled into the mega tanks that supply to the local population, he added, asking not to be named.
Published In The Express Tribune, June 23rd, 2012.
More in Jammu & KashmirSafer communication: Building the capacities of AJK journalists