MINGORA: Residents of different areas of lower Swat have complained about prolonged power outages and demanded of the government to resolve the issue on priority otherwise they would come out on the streets to record their protest.
The residents of Mingora, Barikot, Kabal, Matta and Khwazakhela said that the frequent power outages had been affecting their daily life. They said that despite the claims made by Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf government that there would be no loadshedding during Eidul Azha holidays the Swat valley witnessed power outages of over 12 hours.
“The elected representatives have been claiming that they have made the province free of power load shedding, but there is no such thing to prove. The people even suffered over 12 hours of power outages daily during Eidul Azha days,” said Farooq Khan, a resident of Saidu Sharif.
The residents said that the new wave of loadshedding started before Eid when lower Swat was in the grip of severe hot weather.
They said that the Pesco had increased the duration of loadshedding during the Eid holidays.
“In their recent visit to Swat both Chief Minister Mahmood Khan and federal minister Murad Saeed boasted to have made Malakand division free of loadshedding and also criticised the previous governments for their failure to resolve the issue,” said Zulfiqar Khan, a resident of Matta.
The people whose businesses were dependent on electricity also complained that excessive outages had seriously affected their business during Eid days.
“We had a big task of sewing clothes for people on Eid, but the power loadshedding put us in great trouble,” said Khyal Mohammad, a tailor in Mingora. He said that they had to use generators which increased their cost of business and as a result that could not earn enough money to support their families.
When contacted, MNA Saleemur Rehman said that the recent power outages were temporary and it was because of the closure of Golen Gol hydropower project in Chitral due to floods in the area.
“Once the Golen Gol power station is made functional the issue will be resolved,” he said.
Published in Dawn, August 16th, 2019