Growing agitation: Protesters block Karakoram Highway

Threaten to lay siege to Khan Khwar Power House.

Fazal Khaliq July 30, 2013
The district police department had to call for reinforcements to quell the protest. PHOTO: EXPRESS/FILE

SHANGLA: Adhering to the call of Bisham Qaumi Jirga, hundreds of demonstrators blocked the Karakoram Highway in Bisham on Monday night to protest over low voltage and prolonged power cuts.

The enraged protesters burnt tyres and blocked the thoroughfare for around four hours, chanting slogans against the Water and Power Development Authority (Wapda) and the government.

The district police department had to call for reinforcements to quell the protest due to the large number of demonstrators.

Interestingly, it is the angry locals who have cut the electricity transmission from Tahkot Grid Station in a show of fury. They have also threatened to lay siege to Khan Khwar Power House which has a capacity of 72 megawatts.

“We have set an ultimatum of 24 hours for the resolution of the issue. If the problem is not resolved, we will surround the Khan Khwar Hydropower House and the responsibility will fall on the government and Peshawar Electric Supply Company (Pesco),” warned one of the protesters.

Demonstrators claimed senior officials enjoy lives of luxury in Islamabad while residents of Shangla are dying in the scorching heat. Protesters dispersed at Sehri time after receiving assurances from a joint team of Pesco and police officials.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 31st, 2013.


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