FAISALABAD: Hundreds of factory workers and owners of power looms on Monday staged a demonstration against unannounced power load shedding.
The protesters carried banners and placards. They gathered in front of Faisalabad Electric Supply Company (FESCO) headquarters on Canal Road and blocked it for several hours.
Council of Loom Industry Owners and Power Looms Association chairman Mirza Shafiq Ahmad led the protest sit.
Speaking on the occasion, Shafiq said the power loom sector had been deprived of power supply for 16 to 18 hours a day over the last few weeks.
He said workers had been facing a great deal of difficulties because most industrial units were closed.
“People are also unable to pump water for domestic use,” he said. “If power supply to the industrial sector is not restored, power loom workers will protest across the country.”
Sargodha Road Circle Additional Superintendent Police (ASP) Ameer Masood Magsi and Mansoorabad SHO Saeed Anwar Baloch reached the scene and tried to persuade them to disband the protest and leave.
When they did not leave, some FESCO officers met them and assured them that their issue would be resolved amicably. They also invited a delegation of power loom workers to convey their complaints to the FESCO chief.
A delegation headed by Shafiq later met the FESCO chief.
The delegation asked the FESCO chief to reduce the duration of load shedding for industrial feeders to four hours a day. The FESCO chief said that was not possible.
He told them that FESCO was shedding urban feeders for six hours, industrial feeders for eight and seven hours for mixed feeders. He said this load management schedule would be enforced for at least four months.
He said if power supply increased, load shedding hours would go down. Following this, the delegation said they would stage another protest at FESCO headquarters on May 2, 2015.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 28th, 2015.
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