CM Gandapur warns against ‘severe public backlash’ against outages in KP

  • Urges federal government to take the matter of prolonged electricity loadshedding seriously

PESHAWAR: Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) Chief Minister Ali Amin Gandapur on Friday warned that prolonged load-shedding is making life unbearable for residents and could lead to an “uncontrollable public backlash.”

The chief minister chaired a meeting on Friday to review electricity loadshedding, which was also attended by the chief secretary, additional home chief secretary, principal secretary to the CM, secretary of energy, and senior police officials.

The meeting reviewed the situation of power outages in the province, especially during Eid ul Adha, following discussions with federal authorities.

Officials briefed the CM on the latest load-shedding situation and other related issues.

They reported that with the provincial government’s support, nearly one billion rupees were recovered from high-loss areas in the last month.

PESCO installations and staff have been provided full security by the police, with dedicated teams deployed in each district.

It was disclosed in the briefing that despite promises of zero load-shedding during Eid ul Adha, the commitment was not honoured.

PESCO statistics indicated that most areas in the province experienced 12 to 18 hours of load-shedding during the holiday. Since May 1, there have been 81 different protest demonstrations against unscheduled load-shedding in the province.

For the first time, women have also participated in protests against power outages. The briefing warned that if the situation does not improve, there could be serious law and order problems in the province.

CM Gandapur stated that the provincial government is fully cooperating to resolve power-related issues as per their commitments.

He expressed disappointment that the federal government has not fulfilled its promises. Despite significant recoveries from high-loss areas, unscheduled load-shedding continues.

He highlighted that the severe load-shedding is making life unbearable for the residents of the province. The public’s reaction to unscheduled load shedding is intensifying, he added.

“Protests against load-shedding are not driven by any political party or provincial government but are a genuine public issue. People are struggling to get water for drinking at home and for ablution in mosques,” he added.

Gandapur warned that if the situation persists, public reaction might spiral out of control. He urged the federal government to take the matter seriously.

Earlier this week on Wednesday, the simmering feud between the K-P government and the federal government boiled over after CM Gandapur took matters into his own hands by storming into a grid station in Dera Ismail Khan and flipping the switch himself, igniting a heated confrontation.

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