Rawalpindi-The residents of Dhoke Syedan stage a protest against suspension of electricity for the last 3 days in their area on Tuesday.
Large number of local government representatives and people of all walks of life attended the protest demonstration.
The residents blocked Dhoke Syedan Road at Baraf Khana Chowk from all sides and protested for hours, chanting slogans against Prime Minister Imran Khan, Federal Minister for Water and Power, Chairman WAPDA and others. The protest resulted in traffic jam in Dhoke Syedan, Baraf Khana, Girja Road, Peer Groti Stop, Bakra Mandi and on Dhamial Road. The protestors told media that different areas of Baraf Khana had been facing power outage for the last 3 days.
They said that the area plunged into darkness due to power outages and the residents were also experiencing hardships due to the resultant water scarcity. They said that the government should take notice of the situation immediately.
Sensing the sensitivity of the issue, DSP Cantt Waqar along with heavy contingent of police rushed to the protesting site and negotiated with the protestors. Some officials from WAPDA also reached there who told the protestors that repair work of electricity lines would be completed in two days. They said that the after completion of repair work, WAPDA would supply electricity in the area.
On this, the protestors opened the road for traffic movement and dispersed peacefully. Sub Divisional Officer (SDO) of the area could not be contacted despite several attempts.
Meanwhile, the life of people in many areas of the city was made miserable by IESCO authorities who retorted to unscheduled power load-shedding. Similarly, the suspension of electricity also affected businesses of the people.
Under load management policy of Ministry of Water and Power, more than 8-hour load shedding was being done in areas of Adiala Road, Dhoke Juma, Khuwaja Corporation, Caltax Road, Pir Deval Sharif Road, Mubarak Lane, Nadir Street, Rah-e-Sakoon, Chungi Number 20, Dhama Mor, Sadiq Town, Mumtaz Market, Ali Town, Munawar Colony, Hill View, Dhoke Rajgan, Wahdat Colony, Jarahi, Kehkashan Colony, Sanjoli Estate, Landco, Rukhshanda Masjid, Gulshanabad, Kalyal, Shahpur, Dehghal, Jail Colony, Gorakhpur,Adiala, Dhoke Baba Lal Shah, Dhoke Haji Niaz Ali, Christian Colony, Ziarat Baba Shahmor, Khatana, Sher Zaman Colony, Baqir Colony, Tulsa, Tahli Mohri, Bakra Mandi, Dhamial Road, Chakri Road, Hayyal, Bunda Nagyal, Saddar, Murree Road, Commercial Market, Double Road, Dhoke Kala Khan, Shakrial and Muslim Town.
The residents said that severe load-shedding had made their lives miserable in such harsh weather.
“Supply of electricity remained suspended from 12am in the night and was restored at 1am and then again suspended from 4am to 5am,” said Raja Bashir, a resident of Sadiq Town. He said that WAPDA also suspended electricity supply for more than six hours in day time.
Nobody was posted to fix those issues during the night and the entire town plunged into darkness, he said.
Similarly, a ladies’ tailor Abbas Akbar at Chungi Number 20 told The Nation that unannounced load-shedding had ruined his business. “Since Eid Ul Azha is round the corner, my customers have given me suits for stitching but I could not do my work due to load-shedding,” he said. He said that WAPDA suspended electricity supply for more than 10 hours in a day. He said that the SDO and other officials of the Complaint Cell were not listening to public complaints in this regard. He sought strict action against SDO Adiala and his team.
Many others denounced the power outage by WAPDA and demanded the government to provide the electricity without any pause. A senior officer of WAPDA, when contacted, said that consumers had generators and solar plates hence they rely on those appliances instead of government electricity. So, load-shedding made no difference, he said.