BANNU: Within the span of three days, the Peshawar Electric Supply Company (Pesco) and the constituents of Bannu have held three jirgas and decided on mutually agreeable terms for the payment of outstanding dues.
On Sunday, an agreement was struck between the power company and the elders of PK-71 and PK-73. Similar to a decision taken on Friday, the residents of these two locales will pay a monthly bill of Rs500 and have promised to pay up to 15% of outstanding unpaid bills.
One jirga was headed by Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) MNA Akram Khan Durrani and the other by MPA Malik Riaz Khan. Both were attended by elders of the area and Pesco.
According to Durrani, these jirgas are not aimed at politicking rather than the meetings were held to help rid the people of the menace of power outages in the district.
Similar terms were decided at Friday’s jirga. Pesco wiped off Rs8 billion in extra units charged and fines for PK-72’s residents and demanded the submission of 15% of the total unpaid dues.
Chaired by Durrani, it was decided that houses without electricity meters would pay Rs500 per month till they are given meters by Pesco and those already with the utility would pay their dues accordingly.
At the occasion, the MNA said destroying infrastructure and blocking roads was not the solution to the electricity woes faced by people, adding he knew power outages were crippling the life of locals.
A second grid station for the district has been approved in Shahdev for which land has also been allocated but work on it is yet to start due to a stay order by a local court, he added. Durrani appealed to the people to solve the issue at any cost or provide an alternate place for the grid station’s construction.
At the end of negotiations on Sunday and Friday, Bannu’s elders assured Pesco of their complete cooperation in the future.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 5th, 2014.
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