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Govt officials fail to get Jan 20 protest posptponed

BOONI, Jan 17: The local administration here on Friday failed to persuade the leaders of Tehreek Huqooq-e-Awam (Movement for the Rights of the People) to call off their planned protest in Booni and the long march to Reshun to lock the powerhouse on January 20. In this regard, the officials of the local administration led by Assistant Commissioner Mr Minhaj held over three hours long meeting with the office-bearers of the Movement. The administration officials sought time, at least a month, to improve the electricity supply to the area. They asked the Movement leaders to postpone the planned protest on January 20. However, the office-bearers of the Movement said for the last six months they had been protesting and holding rallies to get their demands approved but without any success. They said their first demand was now to transfer the lineman of the Reshun powerhouse who had been posted there for the last 11 years. They said 99 per cent of the area people considered the lineman as responsible for the power crisis due to theft of electricity and corruption amounting to billions of rupees in the powerhouse. They said despite normal winter weather and abundance of water, the powerhouse administration had reduced electricity supply to the domestic consumers. They said the lineman of the Reshun powerhouse was responsible for the reduction of the electricity generation and corruption in the powerhouse. They said they had documentary proofs that the lineman posted in the powerhouse for the last 11 years due to political backing was illegally selling electricity to marble plants, Sambu Company, banks, and furniture makers in Chitral at the cost of the domestic consumers. They said the lineman also owned a marble factory named Shandur Marble at Juti Lasht and had illegally provided electricity connection to it. Besides, the Movement office-bearers accused the lineman of passing insulting remarks against the people of Chitral and trying to pitch the local people against each other on sectarian lines. They demanded that the lineman should be transferred out of the area and the electricity generated in the powerhouse should be provided to the domestic consumers on a priority. They said that currently Booni and other areas were being supplied only five hours a day electricity that too with interruptions. At least supply of electricity should be ensured during the office timings in the morning and then from evening to 10pm, they said. Talking to ChitralToday, Rehmat Salaam, the president of the Movement’s power committee, said he had documentary proofs of the corruption at the powerhouse and showed them to the local administration officials. “Our first demand is to get the lineman transferred because he is deliberately destroying the powerhouse,” he added. Mr Salaam said as scheduled, the area people would hold a protest demonstration in Booni on Jan 20 and then hold a long march to Reshun and lock the powerhouse there.]]>

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