PTI MPA-led protesters storm Peshawar grid station

Demonstrators turn on feeders; PESCO seeks FIR against lawmaker

News Desk May 25, 2024
According to a spokesperson for Peshawar Electric Supply Corporation (PESCO), MPA Fazal Elahi and a group of protesters surrounded the Rehman Baba Grid Station. PHOTO: EXPRESS


Enraged protesters, led by PTI MPA Fazal Elahi, on Saturday forced their way into a grid station in Peshawar and activated feeders, prompting the city’s power utility to seek an FIR against him.

According to a spokesperson for the Peshawar Electric Supply Corporation (Pesco), the PTI MPA and a group of protesters surrounded the Rehman Baba Grid Station.

He added that the protesters, accompanied by Elahi, forcibly entered the station and switched on nine feeders, which were considered high-loss because of extensive electricity theft as well as unpaid bills.

"The feeders activated include those in Hazarkhwani, Yakatoot, Akhunabad, New Chamakani, Surizai Bala, Shalozan, and Qalandarabad," the Pesco spokesperson said.

"These feeders have losses exceeding 80% because of electricity theft and non-payment of dues. We are actively working to reduce these losses."

Earlier, Elahi while addressing the mob said they would continue to protest outside the grid station until the power was restored.

He added that the protesters would take control of the grid station if their demands were not met.

The PTI MPA warned that they would shut down the Sheikh Muhammadi Grid Station if the matter was resolved where they were protesting.

Also read: Gandapur demands reduction in loadshedding, threatens to take over PESCO

Following negotiations between Elahi and Pesco officials, an agreement was reached, resulting in the resumption of power supply to Hazarkhwani and other affected areas from the Rehman Baba Grid Station.

It was agreed that load shedding would not exceed 10 hours.

During the talks, Elahi assured his cooperation in eliminating the illegal 'kunda' system, which involved unauthorised connections to the power grid.

He further said the Water and Power Development Authority (Wapda) was also their department, and it faced a shortage of staff.

Subsequently, he called off the protest, and the demonstrators dispersed.

However, the Pesco executive engineer later submitted a complaint to the Rehman Baba SHO seeking an FIR against the PTI MPA.

It read that at around 9am, a mob of almost 400 to 450 people entered the grid station led by Elahi and forcibly restored the supply to six feeders.

The complaint continued that the six feeders were kept active from 10am to 1pm that caused a heavy loss to the power company as all of them were “defective”.

The complaint read that during this interval of time, around 70,000 units -- which came out to a loss of Rs3.64 million to Pesco – had been consumed as per the grid-provided data caused because of the unlawful act of the PTI MPA and his supporters.

It requested that “ in light of the above”, an FIR should be registered against the PTI MPA as per the law for interfering in the official duties of Pesco and its operational activities, challenging the writ of the government, causing loss to state assets and other relevant clauses applicable to the matter.


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