CHITRAL: Residents of Koh on Thursday morning blocked the Chitral-Mastuj road at Mroi for about 10 hours in protest against prolonged power outages.
Some of the protesters also climbed a nearby hill and rolled down stones and rocks on the road and also not allowed people to walks towards their destinations.
Hundreds of people remained stranded on the roads. One of the passengers told ChitralToday that many candidates going to the Chitral town to appear in an ETEA test were also stranded on the road.
It may be noted that a row over payment of dues by Peshawar Electric Supply Company (PESCO) to the Pakhtunkhwa Energy Development Organization (PEDO) has led to the power crisis in Koh as well as Upper Chitral for years, prompting frequent protests.
As the protesters continued blocking the road, an additional deputy commissioner of Lower Chitral along with officials from the power utility companies reached the spot and held talks with them.
It was decided that the power supply to Koh area would be restored and there would be no outages till the row between PESCO and PEDO was resolved through an agreement.
If the assurance was not kept, legal action would be initiated against officials concerned of the power companies. The locals would also have the right to launch their protest in such a case.
Moreover, no FIR would be lodged against any resident who took part in the protest today. The additional DC, a major of Chitral Scouts and officials of the power companies signed the agreement with the protesters.—Sher Afgan Raza
Chief Minister takes notice of outages
Chief Minister Mehmood Khan on Thursday summoned PESCO officials to his office and expressed anger over power outages in the province.
He directed the officials to take immediate steps to improve the situation and give relief to the people.
“Khyber Pakhtunkhwa is the producer of electricity and the provincial government is providing significant funds to PESCO to improve the power transmission system,” he remarked.
He said that the provincial government had provided Rs4.5 billion to PESCO from the development funds of members of the provincial assembly in order to install electric poles, transmission lines, transformers and other infrastructure. However, he said, certain irrelevant and non-elected political elements were trying to get the credit which was not acceptable at all.
He made it clear to the PESCO officials that the funds must be spent through the concerned MPAs to complete the works. He further directed them to complete the development works well in time adding that no delay would be allowed in this regard.