DI KHAN: Traffic on a major route linking Tank to DI Khan remained blocked for nearly two hours on Tuesday as residents of Tank’s Jatathar union council came out in large numbers to protest against power outages.
Hundreds of angry protesters gathered near Ranwal Bridge, the hometown of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf MNA Dawar Khan Kundi, and blocked the road. They burnt tyres and chanted slogans against the Water and Power Development Authority (Wapda) as well as the federal and provincial governments.
Residents complained of going without power for more than 20 hours on an average, in addition to low voltage and scarcity of water caused by outages. Several claimed many families have been forced to leave the area because of the prolonged outages, but Wapda and the government have not done anything to address the issue.
Due to the blockade, students, government officials and other travellers could not make it to their destinations on time.
Assistant Commissioner Riaz Dawar, SDO Muhammad Ibrahim and other police officials reached the site of the protest to negotiate with the demonstrators. The residents gave the officials an ultimatum of four days, and threatened to hold more protests and block roads if the issue is not resolved within that time.
Meanwhile, on the directives of Peshawar Electric Supply Company Chief Executive Tariq Khan Sadozai, a team has been formed by Tank XEN Saeedur Rehman to take action against those not paying bills. Electricity supply to Sharbati, Daudkhel, Nusran, Lakki Machan Khel, Momin Korona, Shah Kaleem Korona, Shaista Koronan villages has also been disconnected because of non-payment of bills.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 23rd, 2014.