The road leading from Haripur to Taxila was blocked at four different points by residents who took to the streets late Wednesday evening over power outages.
Officials of Khanpur police told The Express Tribune, the road was blocked at Tofkian, Pind Gakhra, Mohra Murado, and Nikra Bangal. During the protests, residents shouted slogans against Pesco and PML-N MPA Raja Faisal Zaman. The demonstrations began at 5pm and drew to a close five hours later when police asked them to clear the road, saying their grievances would be addressed.
Cycle of woes
Speaking to The Express Tribune, Eraj Zaman, a general councillor from Tofkian union council, said power supply to Julian, Nikra Bangla, Marchabad, Pind Gakhra, Tofkiyan and other localities had been suspended since last week. “They contacted Pesco officials,” he said. “They were informed supply lines had been damaged following heavy rain and were being repaired.”
However, Saeed Khan, another councillor, said the relevant authorities had failed to repair the fault and restore the electricity. “This resulted in countless difficulties for over 20,000 people who live in these areas,” he said. “They had to endure many sleepless nights and are also facing a water shortage.”
Earlier on Wednesday, residents of these areas made one last attempt to approach Pesco to restore their power supply. “However, officials failed to respond, forcing them to take to the streets,” Khan said.
When contacted, a Pesco official said they had asked higher authorities to replace broken supply lines, poles and transformers.
“The delay on their part infuriated residents,” he said. “They have the constitutional right to protest and we can’t begrudge them that. I assure them electricity supply will be restored over the next few hours as repair work is under way.”
Published in The Express Tribune, July 24th, 2015.