LAHORE: Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid’s (PML-Q) Punjab chapter president Chaudhry Pervez Elahi said on Tuesday the massive power crisis could trigger popular protests.
Elahi told a press conference up to 20 hours of load shedding was being reported from several cities. He said the situation was even worse in villages where there was “no electricity at all”.
“CNG is available only two days a week. Tubewells are shut and crops are affected… the crises may lead to protests from all segments of society.”
“The situation was not that bad even during the government of the Pakistan Peoples Party when electricity was available during sehri and iftari,” the former deputy prime minister said.
Elahi said the incessant power cuts had badly affected the industry.
“The Punjab would have not been suffering had our rulers not changed the formula of distribution of resources on the basis of population under the National Finance Commission Award,” he said.
He said the price of electricity during his government was between Rs4 and Rs5 a unit; today it was between Rs14 and Rs16 a unit. “There was no load shedding during our tenure,” Elahi said. He said despite having resources and the right to produce power, the government had not generated even one megawatt. He said Nandipur power project was shut down a few days after its inauguration.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 16th, 2014.
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