Protests against inflated power bills continue

Citizens across country stage rallies demanding withdrawal of decision to raise tariff, impose taxes

​ Our Correspondents August 28, 2023
JI chief Sirajul Haq announced holding a countywide strike on Sept 2 against the exorbitant increase in the electricity tariff. PHOTO: Express


Countrywide protests continued on Sunday against the soaring rise in electricity bills as citizens rallied and burnt them to vent their frustration.

In Lahore, infuriated demonstrators from various neighbourhoods including Shahdara, Nawabpura, Rehmanpura, Raiwind Road, and Green Town took to the streets to voice their outrage against the exorbitant rise in the power tariff and inclusion of excessive taxes in the electricity bills.

They vowed to withhold the payment of the bills until the government retracted the recent increase.

In Rehmanpura, residents staged a protest in front of the Lahore Electricity Supply Company (Lesco) office.

The Pakistan Markazi Muslim League announced the launch of a countrywide protest, adding that it had held demonstrations in Lahore, Gujranwala and Sialkot.

It warned the caretaker government that it would continue to stage protests until the interim set-up withdrew its decision to increase the power tariff and impose excessive taxes.

A similar scenario unfolded in Narowal, where a substantial crowd gathered for a protest.

The participants set their electricity bills on fire and shouted slogans rebuking the government's actions.

Demonstrations were also staged in other cities of Punjab, including Faisalabad, Multan, Vehari, Attock, Taunsa, and Rahim Yar Khan, all reverberating with the outcry against the inflated electricity bills.

Residents and traders in Multan’s Alfalah Market staged a protest demonstration against the electricity bills. They set tyres on fire, blocking the roads.

In Rawalpindi, the business community and traders added their voices to the growing dissent, expressing their intent to protest against the escalating bills.

The Rawalpindi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (RCCI) unveiled plans for a significant demonstration at Kutchehry Chowk in the city on August 29 (Tuesday).

Jamaat-e-Islami Senator Mushtaq Ahmad disclosed on X (formerly Twitter) that power sector employees had consumed free electricity amounting to Rs8.19 billion in 2022.

Citing official data from the National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (Nepra), he highlighted that power sector employees had utilised 340 million units of complimentary electricity -- a privilege extended to 189,000 workers.

Protests against overbilling continued in Peshawar and other parts of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa.

In Peshawar, citizens gathered at Asia Gate, Kohat Road, Ring Road and other areas of the city. They blocked roads, shouted slogans against the Water and Power Development Authority (Wapda) and tore and burnt their electricity bills.

Residents in Nowshera, Dir Lower, Swabi and other cities of K-P also took to the streets against the exorbitant electricity bills. In Risalpur, citizens blocked the Nowshera-Mardan Road in protest.

In Karachi, the traffic police posted on X that a protest against the escalating power bills was staged at Aisha Manzil in the evening.

JI chief Sirajul Haq announced holding a countywide strike on September 2 against the exorbitant increase in the electricity tariff during which people from “Karachi to Chitral” would stage demonstrations.


Replying to X

Comments are moderated and generally will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive.

For more information, please see our Comments FAQ