Residents of villages encircling Murree have been without electricity since snowfall last week.
They warned that if the government failed to restore power, they would protest at GPO Chowk.
On March 11, heavy snowfall in Murree and Galiyat damaged over 80 electricity poles in different villages. Even after a whole week, the provincial government has failed to restore electricity, leaving tens of thousands of villagers without lights.
The affected areas include Murree city, Kuldana, Darya Gali, Doonga Gali, Ayubia, Nathia Gali and Khaira Gali. By Monday, power was restored to Murree city.
Residents claimed that during last week, low-lying areas received 1.5 feet of snow as opposed to higher altitude areas which witnessed two to three feet of snow. They complained that the provincial government seemed unconcerned about the issue.
Local political leadership was also of no help, according to locals. They said that a day earlier Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz leader Hamza Shahbaz visited Murree but failed to take action against officials responsible for inaction.
“Elected representatives should ideally solve this issue but I do not think they will,” said one resident. Minister for Petroleum Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and provincial labour minister Raja Ashfaq Sarwar were elected from the area.
Rawalpindi District Coordination Officer Sajid Zafar was not available for comment.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 18th, 2014.
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