MULTAN: Dozens of power loom owners and workers on Wednesday staged a demonstration near Chungi No14 to protest excessive power outages.
The protesting workers burnt tyres in the middle of the road and blocked it for traffic for several hours.
Talking to the media, Khaliq Qandil Ansari, Pakistan Power Loom Association central president, said with no electricity to run the looms thousands of workers in the city had beocme jobless. He also condemned the high electricity tariffs. He said loom owners and workers would continue to stage sit-ins in front of the MEPCO office until their grievances were resolved.
Ansari said during the last few weeks duration of outages had increased to 16 to 18 hours a day. “If the state of affairs continues, we won’t be able to finish orders placed by our customers in time,” he said.
He said on coming to power in 2013 the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz had claimed that ending power shortage would be their top priority. However, he said, the government had yet to make any progress in that regard.
He said livelihoods of over 100,000 people were dependent on the power loom industry in the city. He said with 10 hour outage in a day looms were no longer able to retain their workforce.
Saeed Boota, a loom worker, said earning from work at the loom was his only source to provide for his family. He said he had no savings to sustain his family in case his employer decided to shut down the business. Earlier, some baton wielding protesters damaged a motorcycle parked in front of the office of the MEPCO on their failure to enter the premises.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 11th, 2015.
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