SUKKUR: Annoyed over hours-long unannounced load-shedding of electricity and gas, residents, political and religious parties’ activists and traders’ community united under the aegis of the Sukkur Development Alliance (SDA) and staged a hunger strike at Clock Tower Roundabout on Tuesday.
Following hours-long unannounced load-shedding of electricity and low pressure of gas, a rally was organised from Sarrafa Bazaar. Slogans were raised against the providers of both the utilities as protesters marched through the main roads of the city. The rally culminated at Clock Tower Roundabout, where they then observed a token hunger strike for three hours. Dawa Khan of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf condemned Sukkur Electric Power Company (Sepco) and Sui Southern Gas Company (SSGC) for unannounced load-shedding and lowering the pressure of gas, which multiplies the suffering of the people. On the one hand, Sepco is claiming to have minimised load-shedding, he said, while on the other, long power outages are taking place on one pretext or the other.
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Ghulam Mustafa Phulpoto of Jeay Sindh Qaumi Mahaz criticised the utilities for their step-motherly treatment towards the citizens of Sukkur.
Coming hard on Sepco and SSGC, SDA chairperson Jawed Memon said that despite the fact that according to the government’s schedule, three hours’ load-shedding is to be carried out in urban areas, Sepco is carrying out more than 10 to 12 hours of load-shedding daily on the pretext of faults. The long power closures are not only affecting business activities, he said; they have also rendered many daily wage earners jobless. Despite repeated meetings with the officers of Sepco and SSGC, nothing has changed, he added.
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Memon said that despite supplying electricity for merely 12 to 13 hours a day, Sepco is issuing exorbitant bills to consumers, which is simply intolerable. People are made to visit the Sepco offices on a daily basis for the correction of their wrong bills, he said. But at the end they are advised to pay the bills with a warning that their electricity will be disconnected otherwise, he added.
He demanded of the senior officials of the utilities to remove corrupt and incapable officials and post honest and dedicated officers to provide relief to the citizens.
Published in The Express Tribune, February 1st, 2017.
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