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Chitral linemen working as domestic servants of PESCO officers

CHITRAL: Electricity consumers here have demanded an investigation against authorities of PESCO and WAPDA for using linemen and other field staff as domestic servants in their houses in Peshawar and Timargarah leaving complaint centres in Chitral unattended.

In a  statement, representatives of civil society, lawyers, traders and social workers, including Sajid Ullah advocate, Alamzen adv, neighborhood nazim Manzoor Ahmed adv, Master Karim Ullah, Muhammad Nayab, Muhammad Haroon and Ejaz Ahmed said 76 posts of linemen and meter readers were already vacant in Chitral.

The PESCO chief and the executive engineer of the power utility company based in Timargarah shifted the few linemen and meter readers of Chitral to Peshawar and deployed some of them in the houses of senior officials as domestic servants.

As a result, five of the six complaint centres in Chitral were now closed and the remaining one was unable to entertain to the complaints of the consumers. When consumers approach the only complaint centre for resolution of any electricity-related issue it takes weeks to get it resolved.

There have also been complaints that the company sent inflated bills to consumers without meter reading and when the consumers approach the complaint office they are humiliated by the untrained and unprofessional staff.

On the other hand, there is no one to fix the dangling transmission lines in the town, especially in the bazaar area, that could lead to any incident.

They said that a group of officials sitting in the Timargarah office of PESCO was deliberately creating problems for the consumers in order to bring a bad name to the government. If the government fails to take action against the mafia, the 38,000 consumers in Chitral would be forced to take to streets against the company, they warned.

Reporting: Bashir Hussain Azad

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