Grid station attack: WAPDA union threatens to cut power supply across the country

Published: April 3, 2013

Workers of the Wapda Hydro Union protest outside the Peshawar Press Club against Tuesday’s attack on Sheikh Muhammadi grid station and the abduction of four employees. PHOTO: MUHAMMAD IQBAL/EXPRESS

PESHAWAR: Workers of the Water and Power Development Authority (Wapda) have warned of shutting electricity across the country if workers kidnapped after Tuesday’s attack on a grid station are not recovered.

Wapda’s labour union has also demanded the government to provide compensation to the families of slain workers.

The union held a demonstration outside the Peshawar Press Club to condemn the attack on Wapda employees. The protesters sought protection and claimed that militants were behind the brutal attack.

At least seven people, including a community police official, were killed and four taken hostage when heavily armed militants attacked and destroyed a grid station in Shiekh Muhammadi area.

“The government should provide Rs3 million to each family under the Shuhada Package (martyrs package) and assure the security of all Wapda workers,” said HEU Chairman Gohar Taj.

Peshawar Electric Supply Company spokesperson Shaukat Afzal said the attack will cost the company Rs100 million.  “Four people, including Shahab, Fahim, Hafiz Faiz and Zeeshan, are still missing,” he said.

He added that a control room, three transmitters of 160MKV, two power transfers of 450MKV while six vehicles were also destroyed.

The union criticised the provincial government for failing to provide security and also blamed it for the suspension of electricity following the attack.

HEU Provincial President Haji Iqbal said meetings in all provincial offices will be held to discuss a future security measures for workers. A comprehensive plan to secure Wapda offices will also be on the agenda so that workers can perform their duties without fear.

Published in The Express Tribune, April 3rd, 2013.

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