Premier Raja Pervaiz Ashraf has made a promise to end load-shedding – and he’s one step closer to it.
Within hours of the prime minister taking up his office, according to an official speaking on the condition of anonymity, one house in Islamabad reaped the fruits of this promise: Premier Ashraf’s own personal residence in the capital’s elite F-8 sector.
The newly elected premier now has a special electric line and transformer for his house, graciously provided by the Islamabad Electric Supply Company (IESCO). Unfortunately, no one else in the posh locality has access to the line and continue to experience blackouts throughout the day, the official added.
In order to install the line, the Capital Development Authority has also re-carpeted the street where his private residence is located.
A serving bureaucrat, who is a neighbour to the premier, told The Express Tribune that despite the concern of local residents, the street’s green belt has also been turned into a parking lot to accommodate the vehicles of the premier’s guests.
When approached IESCO’s Superintendent Engineer Rasheed Khattak told The Express Tribune that the arrangements were only temporary, in order to cope with an ‘emergency-like situation’. He added that when Prime Minister Ashraf steps down, the facility will be taken back.
Khattak said that the initial proposal was to place a generator outside the premier’s home but the residents of the area resisted, saying it would be a nuisance because of the noise.
Responding to a question as to whether it was IESCO’s policy to provide uninterrupted power supply to not only the premier but his family members as well, Khattak said it was IESCO’s own initiative, emphasising that there was no pressure from any quarter. He insisted that IESCO’s policy is ‘equal for all’.
IESCO officials said that most of the time, the premier’s residence in F-8 was vacant, and that his family members were also not residing in the house. However, the officials had no answer when asked why such a facility was being provided, and why special security arrangements were being made, for an unoccupied house.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 2nd, 2012.
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