Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Chief Minister Pervez Khattak on Wednesday said the federal government has adopted a discriminatory attitude against K-P, as it has not been investing in hydel power projects in the province to generate electricity at cheaper rates. Khattak claimed the centre is pouring huge amounts of money into coal, wind and solar energy projects in Punjab instead.
The CM was addressing protesters during a demonstration against the Water and Power Development Authority (Wapda) for carrying out unscheduled power outages across K-P. Protesters marched towards Wapda House where a large number of people, including members of the provincial assembly, chanted slogans against the federal government and Wapda.
Khattak warned Wapda to “mend its ways”, otherwise the provincial government will withdraw the security and support they have extended. He also demanded the federal government immediately start supplying K-P with at least 2,000MW electricity, as its total consumption is at least 2,400MW.
“The Prime Minister of Pakistan is acting like the Prime Minister of Punjab,” said Khattak. “The K-P government can eliminate the electricity shortage if the centre hands over the control of power supply to us.”
“If you can suspend the wheat supply, we can suspend electricity,” the CM said, adding that Nawaz Sharif should help run K-P’s factories too. Khattak said those at the centre have no right to run Wapda or the federal government if they cannot solve this issue.
Peshawar Electric Supply Company Chief Executive Tariq Sadozai said it is a national issue and that he will convey the concerns of the province to the federal government. Sadozai added that grid stations and feeders are currently overloaded, but the provincial government is helping to curb power theft.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 17th, 2014.
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