Power protests rock Punjab

Wapda complex ransacked in Rahim Yar Khan.

Our Correspondents April 08, 2013
A sudden shortfall of 1,500MW took place due to damaged gas pipelines and decrease in oil supplies to power plants, says Malik. PHOTO: FILE

BAHALWALPUR/ FAISALABAD: While protesters ran riot in different towns and cities of Punjab against frequent power cuts, caretaker Minister for Water and Power Dr Musadik Malik sought to cool frayed tempers.

According to him, a sudden shortfall of 1,500MW took place due to damaged gas pipelines and decrease in oil supplies to power plants. He added that repairs were being made to the pipelines and that gas supply to the affected power stations has been restored.

Incensed by power outages that lasted up to 18 hours at a time, residents of Manthar, a town in Rahim Yar Khan district, ransacked the Water and Power Development Authority’s complex.

Close to 300 people broke into the complex and damaged furniture and equipment. Caught in the middle of this fracas were Mian Imtiaz, a candidate from NA-196 and Chaudhry Muhammad Shafiq, a member of the Bahawalpur Chamber of Commerce and Industry. Luckily for Wapda officials, Imtiaz and Shafiq assured the protestors that they would meet with Multan Power and Electric Company officials to resolve their problems.

Almost the same scene was witnessed in Gujranwala, where over 200 demonstrators surrounded the Gujranwala Electric Power Company in a protest over unscheduled load-shedding. They also blocked the GT road with burning tyres.

Over in Faisalabad, the traders’ association threatened to besiege the Faisalabad Electricity Supply Company headquarters if unscheduled load-shedding is not ended in 24 hours. Detailed story, inside

Published in The Express Tribune, April 9th, 2013.


pakistaninamerica | 8 years ago | Reply

Peaceful protests never work in Pakistan. Burning down of power grids will scare officials. This has worked before. This needs to be done across main cities like karachi, lahore faisalabad, peshawer, rawalpindi, multan, etc

A. Khan | 8 years ago | Reply

C'mon people. this does not help your cause. It will not help getting electricity back on. If you must ransack something, it should be the offices of political party in power for last 5 years that has done virtually nothing to resolve the power shortage. In fact, their ministers even got their bills of crores to be paid off in installments of a few thousand rupees per month. It would take more than a thousand years to pay off that outstanding bill, assuming there is no interest. And here you are ransacking WAPDA offices. Much as I despise WAPDA, this time they are not the guilty party.

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